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HENRY W. SAdlj^ -^ 


Cornell University Library 
E767 .D63 

Woodrow Wilson and his work, 



3 1924 030 937 118 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 

Harn.s 6: Eirin.g 


Wbodrow Wilson 
and His Jfbrk 

William E. Dodd 

Profetaor of American BiSory in 
Ike University o/ Chicago 

With Maps in the 

Garden City New York 

Douhleday, Page & Company 







M. J. D. 




I. Youth and Eablt Entieonment ... 3 

II. The New Road to Leadekship .... 24 

III. New Wine in Old Bottles 42 

IV. The Great Stage 60 

V. From Princeton to the Presidency . . 80 

'VI. The Problem 106 

VII. The Great Reforms 124 

VIII. Wars and Rumours of Wars .... 146 

IX. The Election of 1916 170^ 

X. The United States Enters the War . . 195 

XI. "We Are Provincials No Longer" . . 220 

XII. Roosevelt or Wilson 250 

Xin. The Great Adventure 277 

XIV. The Day of Reckoning 298 

XV. The Treaty and the League .... 328 

Index 357 


THE career of President Wilson and his services to his 
country and to mankind in general are so well defined and 
fairly rounded out that historians may not long postpone 
their estimates of both the man and his work. The fears 
of some that early appraisals may not accord with the final 
verdict of history are not well grounded. The final verdict 
has not yet been pronounced upon Julius Csesar, and each 
generation of American scholars forms anew its opinion of 
outstanding figures like Thomas Jefferson and Abraham 
Lincoln. Jefferson, whom half of articulate America jeered 
at during his last year in the presidency, was a political saint 
to Abraham Lincoln; and Lincoln, whom nearly all the leaders 
of both great political parties of July and August, 1864, urged 
to retire in humiliation from his second candidacy for the 
presidency, was and is a political saint to Woodrow Wilson. 
Violent attack and virulent abuse are not the criteria of his- 
tory. They but call attention sharply to the one attacked 
or abused, and create the presumption that something real is 
being done or attempted. 

No public man in all the country was more distrusted 
by the eminent the day that John Wilkes Booth did his 
deadly deed than Abraham Lincoln. If Lincoln had lived 
to try his philosophy of kindness in the reconstruction of the 
broken South, his fame might well have been very different 
from what it is. Accident had a great deal to do with what 
history says about Lincoln. Accident has already pro- 
foundly influenced the thinking of men about the present 


leader of the United States. He has himself said that ac- 
cident was responsible for his second election to the presi- 
dency, although he quickly added that this did not mean that 
the body of the plain people were alienated from him. There 
is nothing more adventitious than the judgments of history. 
Did not Washington's fame take a bizarre turn through the 
fictions of Parson Weems? Chief Justice Marshall had been 
in his grave nearly a hundred years before a worthy biography 
was even attempted. There is not to-day a good Life of 
Henry Clay. History is fickle if not a fiction, and one of the 
reasons for its shrewish character is the failure of scholars 
to take their problems and greater subjects in hand before 
too many of the pertinent materials are lost. A contempo- 
rary account of a great man or a great epoch, if made in the 
spirit of truth and justice, may set somewhat the form of 
future history; as indeed a false contemporary accoimt may 
thwart or make difl&cult the later verdict. 

With a view to a just estimate of President Wilson, the 
following chapters have been written. They are written 
while he lives and while his bitterest opponents occupy the 
centre of the public stage. If the account errs, it may be 
corrected, and thus be a means to a better understanding of 
the man and his services, a means even of an earlier historical 
portrait. As to the main facts, there can not be widely dif- 
fering judgments. They are still fresh in the minds of mil- 
lions of people. Of purposes and ideals, no man has ever 
spoken more plainly or written more accurately than Wood- 
row Wilson what he believed and what he thought the coun- 
try ought to adopt as its programme. 

As to details, those details and incidents that make so much 
of the unpurposed work of a great man, I have had some as- 
sistance from the President himself. Three or four times 
during his trying years in the White House he talked frankly 


of the state of the world and of his high hopes for his countiy, 
for a better future for all men everywhere. No man could 
listen to him as I did and not be warmed, not be moved in 
behalf of his cause. Many of his hopes, doubtless, have 
failed of realization; many groups of men have surely been 
digging their own graves, unawares; and many have from 
piu"ely personal motives sought to thwart him. All of this 
he realized; but it did not make a pessimist of the President. 
What was said in such conversations has not, of course, been 
quoted or even restated in my own words. But it did enable 
me to interpret and estimate public statements and public 
acts in ways that would otherwise have been impossible. 

Furthermore, in the prosecution of this work I have had the 
good fortune to come into close relations with Professor Stock- 
ton Axson, the brother of the first Mrs. Wilson, who has been 
intimate with the President since the days of his boyhood 
and who remains practically a member of the family circle 
at the White House. Professor Axson has related to me 
many incidents and facts of Wilson's home life and family 
connections, explained a number of things about the entrance 
of the President into New Jersey politics, and read and com- 
mented upon the larger part of the book in manuscript. For 
all of this I am deeply grateful. 

In similar manner Messrs. Cyrus H. McCormick, and 
Thomas D. Jones, both of Chicago, and others have given 
information about the Princeton presidency and the plans 
of Wilson, the educator. Secretaries Daniels and Houston 
explained the working relations of the President and mem- 
bers of the Cabinet, thus making plain matters that otherwise 
might have escaped me. For all such friendly assistance 
the thanks of the author are hereby cordially expressed. But 
all these sources are favourable and perhaps coloured by close 
personal relations. To rely wholly upon them would not be 


historical. In order to get the other view, several members 
of both houses of Congress have been asked about Wilson and 
his administration. Republicans as well as Democrats were 
willing to talk, although it would be unfair to quote them or 
give their names. And as occasion offered men of standing 
in New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago have been asked the 
reasons for their decided, sometimes bitter, hostility toward 
the President. 

From public men in Washington and from business men 
in the large cities one learns how earnest and deep-seated is 
the dislike of many of Wilsdn's opponents. It is a part of the 
purpose of this book to explain and interpret that dislike. 
Some of the maneuvers of irreconcilable political enemies, 
of which I have learned, can not properly be given to the 
public, although the knowledge of them has been invaluable 
in the interpretation of certain events. Of course unfriendly 
sources of information have been used with much caution; 
but it has seemed proper to ascertain, as nearly as possible, 
what men think is their grievance against a leader whose 
popularity transcends all national boundaries and most 
racial and party differences. I can not hope to have under- 
stood all the motives and forces that have played upon the 
White House these last seven years; but it does seem that the 
picture ought to be better for the patient listening to men and 
women who regard Wilson in much the same way that Thad- 
deus Stevens and Charles Sunmer regarded Lincoln. 

The materials that have yielded the larger part of the in- 
formation necessary to this story are the speeches of the 
President delivered before Congress and other audiences. 
These Mr. Joseph P. Tumulty has kindly gathered and for- 
warded for my use from time to time. The Congressional 
Record, in spite of its profuseness, remains the great authority 
for the proceedings of the two houses of the national Leg- 


islature. Of similar importance are the various reports and 
hearings of committees of Congress. What the public thinks 
can not well be ascertained even from the electoral returns, 
as recorded in Edward Stanwood's valuable "History of the 
Presidency." Nor may one rely implicitly upon the press, 
either daily or periodical, for these are all more or less coloured 
by personal or group interests. But, as will be seen from the 
footnotes to my pages, much assistance has been gained 
from the New York Times, the Springfield Republican, and 
certain other well-known newspapers. The Literary Digest 
has been frequently cited because it is a gleaner of press 
opinion from all parts of the country. But it ought to be 
said that its work would be much more satisfactory to his- 
torians if it gave the dates of its press excerpts. 

Of books bearing upon recent events, the histories of the 
time, biographies of leading figures and the various forms of 
propaganda that have so burdened the mail pouches of the 
world due use has been made, as will appear, I trust, from the 
frequent references that accompany every chapter. But 
I have not undertaken to exhaust this source of knowledge. 
Only where Wilson was the subject in a serious way, where 
reputable scholars had something to say in either foreign or 
domestic periodicals, and where more or less scientific effort 
was made in books or pamphlets to treat subjects germane 
to the inquiry, has there been an effort to be exhaustive. 
Because the subject is contemporary and the sources of in- 
formation are well-nigh infinite, no bibliography has been 
appended. The references to sources which accompany the 
text on almost every page must suffice to show the range 
of my study. But it must not be supposed that every 
authority consulted has been duly listed. 

It is a pleasure to express my thanks to my colleagues, 
Messrs. A. C. McLaughlin, Charles H. Merriam, Conyers 


Read, and Ferdinand Schevill for reading parts or all of the 
manuscript or proof of this book, and for giving it the benefit 
of their criticism. This is not to say that any or all of these 
gentlemen agree with the social philosophy or the interpreta- 
tion which run through the book, nor to claim immunity from 
criticism because of their supposed acquiescence in the 
validity of the narrative. It is to express the gratitude of 
the author for a kind of assistance that is often irksome. In 
a special sense I wish here to record my thanks to Professor 
Albert H. Tolman, hkewise of the University of Chicago, for 
a careful reading of the proof and for many valuable sugges- 
tions as to form and style. 

It remains to be said that this portrait of Woodrow Wilson 
is designed to be a brief history of recent times as well as a 
chronicle of a great career. It aims to set the man in his 
historical background and to explain the trend of American 
life during a momentous period of world history. And since 
there are many and violently hostile views of recent history, 
it is hoped that readers will consider well the facts and the 
alternative interpretations before they take offence at what 
is here set down. I can not hope that all historians will 
agree with my interpretations, for historians are partisans 
like the rest of mankind. My chief hope is that some mis- 
informed people may come to a saner view of Woodrow 
Wilson and a more historical interest in the development of 
our country along liberal lines. If that should be attained 
the author will consider himself amply repaid for the two 
years, and more of labour consumed in the making of this book. 

William E. Dodd. 
University of Chicago, 

February 12, 1920. 




Woodrow Wilson and His Work 


FEW Americans have had a better lineage than Woodrow 
Wilson, 28th president of the United States. His father, 
Joseph Ruggles Wilson, born at Steubenville, Ohio, was the 
tenth child of James Wilson, and his wife, from County 
Down, Ireland, and of the sturdy Scotch race which still 
troubles the international waters in more ways than one. 
The life of James Wilson and his big family was of that hard 
but wholesome kind which has imparted so much vigour to 
the whole body of the American national experience. 

Joseplj^R. Wilson early showed a bent for books and con- 
sequently he was sent to Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, 
where he graduated in 1844. After a year of teaching in a 
Presbyterian school, he went to a theological seminary at 
Alleghany, Pennsylvania, to prepare for the Presbyterian 
ministry. In 1847 he went to Princeton for another year of 
preparation for his chosen calling. ButS* on his return to 
Steubenville, hie again became a teacher, this time in the 
Steubenville Male Academy, as men were then wont to call 
a school for boys. Here he met Janet Woodrow, a beau- 
tiful young woman, likewise of Scotch parentage, and a 
student in a school for girls condticted by Doctor Beattie, 
another Scotchman turned pedagogue in the backwoods of 



Janet Woodrow was the daughter of Thomas Woodrow, 
graduate of the University of Glasgow, and his wife, a Scotch 
woman of similar strain who had died on the long journey to 
"the States." After a year of missionary work in Canada, 
the Woodrows settled in Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1837, where the 
head of the house was the pastor of the Presbyterian Church 
till 1849, when he moved to Columbus to become the minister 
of the Hogg Presbyterian Church. Thomas Woodrow was 
already a man of note in Ohio, a devotee of the ancient 
classics who felt every day poorly spent which did not take 
him through many pages of the Greek and Latin writers 
which adorned the shelves of his library. He was likewise a 
firm believer in that stern Calvinist philosophy of which John 
Knox had been the best British exponent. His religion, 
duly biuTowed from ancient Greek books and seasoned with 
the precepts of the Genevan theology, made something more 
than the mere milk for babes of which we learn in Holy Writ. 
There was no mistaking the intellectual calibre and the 
sturdy character of the stocky, full-bearded man who pre- 
sided with easy dignity over the church at Chillicothe, and 
then for many years at Columbus. 

It was his daughter, the fifth child in a family of seven, 
whom young Joseph Wilson met at Steubenville. They 
were married in June, 1849, and two weeks later this daughter 
of a great preacher was the wife of another preacher, for her 
husband was ordained the following month by the Presbytery 
of Ohio. The young couple did not enter at once the manse 
of some western church; they went instead for a short time 
to Jefferson College, where Wilson was professor of rhetoric, 
whence they moved again to Hampden Sidney College, Vir- 
ginia. There Joseph Wilson served the Church for four 
years as professor of chemistry and natural science, preach- 
ing the while to neighbouring congregations that asked his 


ministrations. In 1855 he became the settled minister of the 
Presbyterian Church in Staimton, Virgiiiia. There on 
December 28, 1856, a son was born to the family whom they 
called Thomas Woodrow, in honour of the grandfather at 

But the family moved once more before they took root 
in the earth. In the spring 1858, Reverend Joseph R. Wilson 
became the minister of the Presbyterian Church of Augusta, 
Georgia, and there he remained through the succeeding 
stormy years till 1870 when he went to the well-known 
Theological Seminary at Columbia, South Carolina, as pro- 
fessor of pastoral and evangelistic theology. 

The Wilsons were soon at home in Georgia and South 
Carolina, for the people of Augusta and Columbia formed one 
community. There the beloved Doctor Thomas Woodrow, 
as he was now called, visited them and held aloft the stand- 
ard of learning. To the neighbouring Oglethorpe College, 
Georgia, came Mrs. Wilson's brother. Doctor James Wood- 
row, a distinguished graduate of the University of Heidel- 
berg, although he, too, was soon transferred to the Seminary 
at Columbia where he long tried in vain to reconcile dogmatic 
theology and natural science. Still another member of the 
old Chillicothe circle. Miss Marion Woodrow, visited her 
sister at Augusta, married James Bones, merchant and slave- 
holder, and became identified with the old South.' 

It was a unique community, that of Augusta and the coun- 
try round about in 1860. There nearly all men of note were 
the owners of slaves. There society was sharply articulated. 
The aristocracy, composed of planters of the country side 
and the older merchants of the towns, were quite as sure of 

'William Bayard Hale, "Woodrow Wilson, the Story of his Life," New York, 191S. 
'For character sketches of Southern Presbyterian leaders see Henry Alexander White^ 
"Southern Presbyterian Leaders, "New York, 1911. 


their positions in the world as were the gentry of Britain with 
whom the Woodrows had had sympathetic experience be- 
fore emigrating to America. The farmers and mechanics 
made another class, not so sharply set off as were their 
brethren in England, but none the less a class apart. And 
the Negroes and poor whites quarrelled among themselves 
as to which group was entitled to social precedence.^ That 
the Wilsons readily adapted themselves to the system as they 
found it is evidenced by their long residence in the region as 
wdl as their undoubted social and professional success. They 
became as good Southerners as if they had been to the man- 
ner born. 

The home of the Wilsons in Augusta was for the time a 
stately house fronting on one of the best streets. Its rooms 
were large and its halls high and wide; and there was ample 
space about the place to give that dignity of which Lowell 
speaks when he said every home should have "fifty feet of 
self-respect" between it and the public highway. As was 
common everywhere in the old South, there were trees in 
abundance, a stable for the horses, and walls of brick to keep 
out prying eyes. 

Moreover, the church across the street was the handsomest 
in the town and its congregation the richest. That, too, was 
a dignified structure surrounded by tall elms and oaks, and 
permeated with an atmosphere that suggested sacred things 
and rather tamed the spirits of men as they came within its 
walls. Its quiet family pews, long, carpeted aisles, high 
ceiling, great suspended chandeliers, and pillared galleries 
for the slaves made upon men's minds that wholesome im- 
pression which Doctor Wilson, both in presence and stately 
speech, strongly reenforced in his sermons. In the manse, 

iPop description of life in the South, see the author's "Cotton Kingdom" in The Chron- 
icles of America, New York, 1919. 



on the shaded streets, and about the coves and corners of the 
church young Wilson found his playground, and got those 
early inspirations which are of the very essence of life. 

The Wilson family circle was of that sober, even stern 
character so common to the South in those marvellous days 
which preceded her great war for indeipendence. Morning 
and evening there were Bible readings and family prayers 
which all must be prompt to attend. On Saturdays there 
was a stillness which presaged the Holy Sabbath itself, for 
the father was preparing and meditating upon the two ser- 
mons for the next day; and Mondays partook of Sundays be- 
cause they were the so-called "blue days" famiUar to every 

To Doctor Wilson aU mankind, save the favoured elect of 
God, sat in outer darkness or moved irresistibly upon that 
downward road which led to the lake of everlasting fire and 
brimstone. It was his divinely appointed business to warn 
such as the Great Father might have ordained from tlie foun- 
dation of the world as partakers of the covenant and heirs 
of that kingdom of heaven whose antechamber was the 
Church militant. God was to the Wilson family a monarch 
of indescribable majesty and inscrutable will whose son, 
Jesus of Nazareth, had been sent into the world to explain 
and propitiate. 

Doctor Wilson was himself a fit representative of that 
deity which he preached from Sabbath to Sabbath. He was 
tall, symmetrical, and good to look upon as became the ser- 
vants of God; not a man whom one would pass unnoted in the 
street, nor one who might be approached with familiarity. 
He was profoundly concerned lest his own children, of whom 
there were two girls and two boys, might prove to be of that 
unsaved majority of mankind to whom the grace of God did 
not extend; and he doubtless watched, as they grew to ma- 


turity, for signs that Heaven would yet open its portals to 
them, yet he was withal a gentle and warm-hearted man, 
a believer in the value of human leadership and suggestion 
as well as in the stern will of God handed down through the 
ages. It was a solemn Uttle world, that Wilson home in 
which our hero first learned the ways of life.^ Saturdays, 
Simdays, and Mondays of every week were filled with the pres- 
ence of the Presbyterian deity, and on other days of the week 
members of the family unfailingly approached in prayer and 
song the throne of Almighty God, led by the father in that 
spirit of old which would not let go "till he obtained the 
blessing." To them all, as to most reKgious-minded Amer- 
icans of that time, the world was a vale of tears, a place of 
preparation, in sweat and blood, for that other world to 
which all must surely go. They talked of the toilsome jour- 
ney, the dark and fearsome night, and Satan's fiery-darts cast 
at the figures of the faithful as they moved or lay prone upon 
the grotmd propitiating the angry Jehovah:^ 

Bowed down beneath a load of sin. 

By Satan sorely pressed; 
By wars without and fears within, 

I come to Thee for rest. 

While the home held true to the ancient faith and the 
parents endeavoured to bring their children into touch with 
the divine order of things, there was a larger influence of the 
church which played upon the life of the young boy who was 
to mean so much to a war-torn world of a later day. The 

"Conversation with Mrs. Jessie B. Brower, Winnetica, III., December 21, 1918. Mrs. Browec 
is a cousin of Woodrow Wilson who lived near him during his early years. 

'One of the commonly used hynms, taken from the Presbyterian Hymnal of 1868, p. 96. 
In preparing this sketch of Doctor Wilson the author has consulted two members of the family 
circle, and he has made careful study of the books, hymnals, and correspondence'of leading 
preachers of the time. 


American Presbyterian Church of 1860 was a very powerful 
organization. It was wholly under the control of its South- 
ern leaders. The prince of them all was Doctor James H. 
Thornwell of the Columbia Theological Seminary who was to 
the religious world of the old South what Calhoun had been 
to the political. He was an aristocrat of the very best type 
and a champion of slavery and the cause of secession. A 
much younger man, but a powerful one, was Benjamin Mor- 
gan Palmer of New Orleans who preached on Thanksgiving, 
1860, one of the remarkable sermons of American history in 
which he declared that God had made it the duty of the South 
to maintain and spread over the continent the whole Southern 
social system, including African slavery.^ Another leader of 
whom the world knows little to-day. Doctor John B. Adger, 
professor of church history and polity at Columbia and 
translator of the Bible into the Armenian tongue, was a 
master spirit in the religious world. North as well as South. 
There were many others whose names were known to the 
country in 1860, but there is not space here to enumerate 

When the Civil War came and the Presbyterian Church 
could no longer remain non-committal on the slavery issue, 
separation was inevitable. Consequently, the leaders whose 
names I have mentioned and many others from all the seceded 
states gathered in Doctor Wilson's church at Augusta to 
organize the Southern Presbyterian Church. Thornwell, 
Palmer, Hoge of Virginia, and Adger made the Wilson home 
their headquarters and there caucused as to what was best to 
do, what was the best machinery for their work. Among 
these princes of the church, young Woodrow Wilson began 
to envisage the world. They were his father's intimate 

'William Cary Johnston, "The Life and Letterslot Benjamin Morgan Palmer." ''M, Rich- 
mond, 1906. 


friends. And the father was elected stated clerk of the 
Southern Presbyterian Assembly in 1865. 

When Thornwell died in 1862 the Wilson family felt 
the blow as a personal calamity, as indeed did most men 
of the South where he was as well known as Henry Ward 
Beecher in the North. For three of the four war years 
Doctor Palmer, a refugee from New Orleans, was professor 
of pastoral theology at Columbia; and then, after a short 
interim, Doctor Wilson went to Columbia to take the place 
made famous by two of the greatest preachers the old 
South ever produced. Thus Woodrow Wilson's boyhood to 
the day when he went away to college was passed in in- 
timate touch with the great ones of his father's church. 

Of the school life of the boy not very much is to be said. 
The father was the best and constant teacher, although Pro- 
fessor Joseph T. Derry did conduct a boys' school in Augusta 
where Woodrow Wilson, Joseph Lamar, and other sons of the 
gentry received instruction in Latin, Greek, and ma;thematies. 
And again in Columbia he spent the better part of three years 
in the school of Professor Charles Heyward BarnweU, a 
member of one of the old families of Carolina. In the home 
Cooper's sea and forest tales were read and acted in boyish 
dramas. Scott and Dickens, too, had their places in the 
household entertainment; nor may one doubt that Shake- 
speare stood ever ready upon the Wilson shelves. But when 
all is said Wilson's father was the veritable leader and maker 
of the future president. 

That Wilson received the best of training in home, chiu-ch, 
and school, will not be doubted. Yet there was a subtler in- 
fluence that surely made itself felt if not dominant in his early 
thinking. The South was in the throes of war and suffering 
during all his early life. He saw the soldiers go away to 
Virginia to fight the invading Yankees; he witnessed the 


numerous burials of the later terrible war years; and he 
saw the busy industrial life of the town devoted to the 
niaking of guns and ammunition for the armies of Lee. 
And when the end drew near, he felt and understood the 
imnjinent peril of Sherman's march, which barely missed 
the town. 

As if this were not enough for a delicate and sensitive 
nature, he saw Jefferson Davis and Alexander Stephens pass 
through Augusta under heavy Federal guard on their way to 
their dreaded prisons in the North. And he tells us himself 
that as a boy he stood by the side of Robert E. Lee and looked 
admiringly into the great man's face.* Thornwell and Lee, 
two igreat noblemen! These ideal leaders of the boyhood 
days mark the beginning of the man. Wilson was a South- 
erner, pure and simple. The appeal of the years of trial, the 
influence of men around him, the poverty of that reconstruc- 
tion South which is only half known to history and the gentle 
ways of the folk he knew made him heart and soul one of 
the people who were later to make him president. 

There is something pathetic about those gentle and simplp 
folk of Georgia and South Carolina in the days of Wilson's 
boyhood, the period of 1865 to 1876. They had fought the 
great fight; their churchyards were filled with their dead 
heroes; the wealth that had once proclaimed them the rich 
and the envied of the United States had gone up in smoke; 
and their former slaves sat in the seats of Calhoim and Ste- 
phens and Jefferson Davis, making laws for proud common- 
wealths and equalizing the fortunes of the people. Sixteen 
blocks of Columbia's best homes were little more than waste 
land when yoimg Wilson attended Mr. Barnwell's school and 
when his father taught pastoral theology to the young 

'An address delivered at the University of North Carolina, January 19, 1909. University of 
North Carolina Becard, No. 73, pp. £-21. 


preachers of the impoverished South. Whatever men may 
say of the righteous character of our American Civil War, 
brave men can never look with aught but shame upon the 
policy of the Government which outraged the helpless and 
sought to wreak vengeance upon a beaten people.' 

The difficulty with war as a policy is that it cannot con- 
quer the spirits of men; and the older men of the South to- 
day, fifty years after the surrender of Lee, still think of 
the North as a hostile section bent on exploitation of the rest 
of the country. With such ideas deeply implanted in his 
mind and saturated with the traditional history of his section, 
young Woodrow Wilson, lean-looking and rather overgrown, 
went away, in 1874, for the first time to college. It was to 
Davidson College in the foothills of the North Carolina 
mountains, a pleasant place, an old school founded by the 
followers of good Doctor Witherspoon of Princeton and still 
under the strictest Presbyterian control. The professors 
were all staunch believers in the Genevan reformer and the 
students were chips off old Presbyterian blocks. It was also 
quite as Southern in character as General D. H. Hill, one of 
its patrons, could have wished. There was little chance 
that a Christian boy or a Southern youth could go wrong 

Nor did Woodrow Wilson try to go wrong. He con- 
ned his classics, mathematics, and philosophy, sacred and 
profane, after the manner of his now departed grandfather, 
Thomas Woodrow. There were firewood to chop and water 
to bring; rooms to set to rights and college debating societies 
to attend. And he attended to all these things. Baseball, 
too, had a pull for him and he loved a race. But his health 
was none too robust and doubtless the fare at the country 
boarding places was not quite to his way of living. His was a 

'E. P. Oherholtzer, "History of the United States," Chapter 11. 


liprvous nature and he broke under the strain. In the spring 
0^1875 he returned to his father's roof, now the Presbyterian 
manse in Wilmington, North Carolina, whither the theo- 
logian of Columbia had meanwhile retreated in order to take 
up the work of pastor again. 

In Wilmington there were interesting things for a boy, the 
long wharf where great ships loaded for foreign parts, where 
sailors told marvellous stories of pirates, long since dead, 
that used to sail into the harbours and rob the king's ships be- 
fore they left their moorings; of the terrible battles between 
Yankees and rebels for the control of the place, and of bold 
blockade nmners who used to feed guns and clothing and 
shells to the Confederate armies in Virginia. Altogether it 
was a great place for a dreamy young man who had never 
seen the ocean; but Wilson did more than listen to sea tales 
and gamer war stories.^ 

He spent a year in Wilmington making up his mind what 
to do next and reading serious books that had already be- 
come his passion. He had already commenced to take an 
interest in British politics and to admire William E. Glad- 
stone, almost an ideal statesman to him. It was plain that 
he must go to college again. And in September, 1875, he took 
the Wilmington and Weldon train for Washington and 
thence to Princeton where his father had been a student 
and where he was to spend a great part of his life. 

It was as natural for Wilson to go to Princeton as it is for 
young English gentlemen to go to Oxford. It was an old in- 
stitution founded before the middle of the eighteenth century, 
a school of the prophets for the South and West for more than 
a hundred years. Thence had come Davies and Stanhope 
Smith, Moses Waddell and later Robert Breckinridge. There 

'President Wilson has said since these lines were written that he was almost led to enter 
upon the life of a seaman while at Wilmington. 


Thornwell and Adger had studied, and the great Edwards 
for a short time had taught things fit for- the gods to con- 
template. There James Madison had been a student, and 
senators and judges of the United States had learned the ways 
of government. 

Moreover, his father's teacher, the famous Doctor Charles 
Hodge, was still there. The Alexanders, so well known to 
every Presbyterian in the country, and J. S. Hart, the maker 
of books and founder of the Sunday School Times, and Joseph 
Henry, famous for experiments in physics, not to mention 
the great Doctor McCosh, philosopher and president of the 
College, all drew a young man like Wilson who leaned upon 
his father for counsel and kept in touch with the world which 
his father knew best.* 

Nor can there be doubt that the boy was welcome. He 
came from good old stock. He was nearly twenty years old 
and mature for his years; in fact, Woodrow Wilson, like 
Thomas Jefferson, was never immature; he took promptly 
to his books if indeed it can be said that he ever left them. 

There was little opportunity to do anything else. The 
atmosphere at Princeton was not unUke that of Davidson. 
The professors were all of the earnest character of Christian 
ministers. There were prayers every morning to which the 
boys must contribute their presence; the sermons and the 
revivals made it clear that to go astray must be the purpose, 
not a mere slip of the student; and the boys were of the same 
social stratum with their teachers, coming as they did, in the 
main, from earnest Presbyterian homes, sons themselves of 
ministers and laymen of the Church.^ 

Of the formal side of Woodrow Wilson's training at 

'"Catalogue of all Who Have Held Office in or Have Beceived Degrees from the CoUegeot 
New Jersey," Princeton University Press, 1S96. 
^"Princeton,*' by Varnum Lansing Collins, New York, 1914, Chapters V and Vt, 


Princeton little more need be said than that he gave sufficient 
attention to the classics, to mathematics, and the budding 
sciences to satisfy his teachers. He did not distinguish 
himself; perhaps his mind was not so evenly set as to enable 
him to "carry" all his classes with high distinction. Perhaps 
he did not feel the need of the endless round of the ancient 
quadriidum and its modern annexes. Admirable as had been 
his grandfather's learning and the evenness of the father's 
accomplishments, Wilson was a young man who stood upon 
his own feet. When he graduated he ranked forty-one in a 
class of a hundred and twenty-two, which meant that he 
barely attained "honours." 

Of more importance perhaps is the record which Wil- 
son made in the Whig Hall, a Uterary and debating soci- 
ety into which Southern students generally drifted. It 
was La this organization that a young man showed his 
mettle, his initiative. On more than one occasion he led in 
the competition for honours, the' most notable of which was 
his unprecedented conduct when he was appointed as one of 
the representatives of his society to debate with represent- 
atives of the rival society for the award of a coveted prize. 
The custom was to have the subject submitted to the debaters 
at the beginning of the cbntest. Sides were determined 
by lot. On this occasion it fell to the lot of Wilson to defend 
the protective tariff as against the principle of free trade. He 
flatly declined the contest, preferring to have his society lose 
the prize and himself the highest honour of his college 
course to defending what he considered an immoral thing. 

Like Emerson at Harvard, many years before, Wilson 
was not a little disposed to academic anarchy. He loved 
the library more thto he did the professors' lecture rooms; 
and he sought to try his own powers as a writer rather than to 
sharpen his wits by painful exercise in grammar and rhetoric. 


He had already studied British public men before he left 
home. Now he published a sketch of Prince Bismarck, the 
German chancellor, in which he manifested the usual Amer- 
ican tendency of those years to applaud things German, al- 
though he did not fail to point out the dangers of autocratic 
and unscrupulous methods. In better form was a study of 
Chatham which closed with the remark of Macaulay, I be- 
lieve, that "William Pitt was a noble statesman, the earl of 
Chatham a noble ruin." 

These and other articles, which show more than mere 
undergraduate abilities, appeared in the Nassau Literary 
Magazine, a students' periodical of recognized merit. But 
another interest was that of the growing department of 
athletics, as that division of college activity soon came to be 
called. In this he won a place on baseball teams and became 
student director of athletic sports. Close akin to this was 
his elevation by his fellows to the editorial management of a 
new student publication known as The Princetonian, a bi- 
weekly devoted to the news of the campus. 

There were no upper class clubs then at Princeton, in the 
sense at least of later years, but Wilson did eat with the 
"Alligators," a group of similar spirits, and he "chummed" 
with men of his own tastes; and perhaps idled just a bit; 
but his greater interest in his articles for the college journals, 
his part in the management of athletics, and his incursions 
into the field of British politics saved him from the loiter- 
ing good-feUow habit that was soon to lead many Prince- 
ton men into the exclusive club life of 1900. 

The best fruit of his earnest studies outside the curriculum 
was seen in a work of his senior year — an article published in 
the International Review of 1879. In this first mature out- 
put of his mind one sees the germ of his later political re- 
forms in the United States. It has been rare that a young 


man of twenty-three, and still in college, has been able to 
subject his own government to a scrutiny as objective and 
scientific in method as Wilson did that of the United States. 
Possibly his Southern training and aloofness from all things 
national was a factor, or was it his British descent? 

At any rate, he made an analysis of the method and pro- 
cedure of Congress in which the secret committee system was- 
unerringly pointed to as a fruitful source of the shameless 
scandals of the time.' Instead of ranting at the facts and the 
ruthless exploitation of the people by the people's chosen 
representatives, he uncovered the cause — the absence of re- I 
sponsible leadership and the failure to apply open methods in ' 
laying tariffs and fixing taxes. The article in the Interna- 
tional was an indictment of congressional government and a 
vindication of the British system. It was Wilson's fare- 
well to imdergraduate life; it was his debut into the world of 
scholarship, although he was hardly aware of the fact. He 
was a man without knowing it. 

From Princeton he went to the University of Virginia to 
study law under the famous John Minor. There again he 
joined one of the debating societies, the Jeffersonian, and 
distinctly avowed himself a Democrat in the act. He 
wrote for the University Magazine, as he had done at Prince- 
ton, and he defended the unpopular cause of the Roman 
church in the United States, not an easy thing for the son and 
grandson of Scotch Presbyterian preachers to do. But Glad- 
stone and John Bright still occupied his attention and he 
published studies of them at Virginia. 

But the law was Wilson's business, and Doctor John Minor, 
his teacher, was a hard taskmaster. Nearly a year Wilson 

^)ne doea well here to read and compare Rooaevelt*s first book, "The Naval War of 1813,'* 
188!2, for the chasm-wide difference in points of view of these greatest of American leaders of our 


studied as lie had never studied at Princeton, and he was 
apparently on the way to success as a candidate for a law de- , 
gree when indigestion overtook him and he left the University j 
for home. He remained in Wilmington for a considerable 
time nursing his health and reading in that discursive manner 
which had already become a habit with him. Too old to 
continue under his father's roof much longer and drawn to- 
ward a public career, he knew no better than hastily to finish 
his preliminary studies in law, take his degree at the Univer- 
sity, and nm away to some town to try his luck.^ 

He went to Atlanta in May, 1882, with his license in his 
pocket and, finding another young aspirant at hand, formed 
a partnership. The sign read "Renick and Wilson, Attor- 
neys at Law, " and it was hung out at 48 Marietta Street. 
This location in Atlanta was another of those evidences of 
Wilson's attachments; he was a Georgian, like his father and 
many others of his kindred. Atlanta was, therefore, the 
place for him to begin. Still, practice and distinction and 
wealth were not apt to come to a young lawyer who did not 
stick to the law above everything else. And that Wilson 
could not do. 

He knew the use of the pen too well. And the idea of that 
article in the International stiU haunted him. He could not 
help elaborating it during the long hours when litigants kept 
vigilantly away from his doors and other young men like 
Hoke Smith enjoyed thedistinction of baiting corporations and 
fighting spectacular cases through the courts.^ There can 
be no doubt that Wilson was approaching mature manhood 
without great promise of that success and distinction which 
had been the rule with his immediate forebears. 

iWiUiam Bayard Hale, " Woodrow Wilson, the Story of his Life," Chapter V. 
'A member of the Senate says that Wilson and Hoke Smith came into unfriendly relatioiU 
in those early days in Atlanta. 


To relieve the ennui of an empty oflSce and the tedium of 
constant writing upon a book which would probably never 
reach the distinction of print, to say nothing of winning 
royalties for its author, the young lawyer made long visits 
to his cousin, Mrs. Jessie Bones Brower, who now lived at 
Rome, Georgia. It was his nearest approach to home that 
was available. There he renewed an earlier acquaintance with 
Miss Ellen Axson, daughter of another Presbyterian church- 
man. Miss Axson was then living with her parents in Rome. 
Wilson very soon learned that she had charms for him which 
he should never be able to resist. Before many renewals of 
the acquaintance he asked and received her approval of 
marriage, at the first convenient season, for everybody knew 
that the bridegroom-to-be had no means of supporting a 
family. Doubtless this romance brought Wilson's affairs to 
a crisis. The firm of Renick and Wilson must be dissolved. 

Before we note the next step in Wilson's career, reference 
must be made to a characteristic declaration of positive op- 
position to the policy and practice of his government. The 
tariff that followed the American Civil War was one of econo- 
mic exploitation piu"e and simple; and as the expenses of the 
struggle declined it was raised not as a matter of taxation, 
but to protect American industries from competition of every 
sort. In 1872 the Southern and Western elements of the 
country returned to Congress such a majority opposed to the 
Republican tariff policy that the subject became again a 
sharp issue. By a narrow margin, however, the Republicans 
had saved to themselves the presidency both in 1876 and in 
1880. Still Southern and Western men clamoured for down- 
ward revision of the tariff, and in 1882 a congressional com- 
missipn was sent over the country to take testimony on the 
subject^ I 

Wilson went before the body and gave an undoubted pro- 


fession of faith. He opposed the tariff: ''Now that peace 
has come, the people of the South will insist upon having the 
fruits of peace and not being kept down under the burdens , 
of war." He went on to show the imwisdom of laying any 
tax except for urgent needs; a tax laid for other purposes is 
bad policy and class legislation. Still, he would not abandon 
tariffs for revenue.' The people had too long been accus- 
tomed to indirect taxation. This was a pronouncement in 
full accord with his sectional faith as well as with the results 
of his long studies of British public affairs. Nine of every 
ten men in the South held the same view and longed for the 
day when they could compel the industrial interests of the 
North to take better care of themselves and take less direct 
or indirect aid from the treasury. 

The time had come for Wilson to try another calling. It 
was plain that the law was not for him. He went to the 
new Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in September^ ■ 
1883, and there once more renewed formally his contact with 
learning. His ideas for a treatise on congressional govern- 
ment, developing the thought of the article of 1879, were still 
in mind. He put himself under the guidance of Professor 
Herbert B. Adams, one of the most stimulating teachers 
known to American educational history. There were other 
young men of similar minds at the new university, James 
Franklin Jameson, Albert Shaw, Frederic J. Turner, Albion 
W. Small, John Dewey, and others of whom the world has 
heard a great deal. No more remarkable group of stu- 
dents than those who worked with Adams in his earlier, 
years at Johns Hopkins has appeared in our history. 

Adams had come but recently from Germany where he had ' 
been imbued with the best spirit of that coimtry. The new 

'"Report of the Tariff Commission," House "Miscellaneous Beports" tod Sess. 47th CoiU!> 
Vol. m, 1294. ^^ 


university had for its president Daniel Coit Gilman, an- 
other man who was overcome with the sense of the American 
need tor accurate scholarship and first-hand research. The 
seminar was the method. There were no residential halls 
and what is called college spirit hardly existed. Only the 
spirit of research prevailed. Under such a regime, Wilson 
must have found benefit, even if he had not already failed at 
law and felt the instant need of things. Within two years, 
he had met the conditions for the doctorate although he was 
not desirous of actually receiving the Ph.D. degree, and his 
study soon to be known as "Congressional Government" 
was accepted.' 

It was his real debut into the world of scholarship and a re- 
markable book indeed it was for a young man of twenty- 
nine. It was the idea of 1879 developed to its logical con- 
clusions. Its plea was that congressional government was in 
a sad state, that only positive reform in the way of respon- 
sible leadership could save it. But if it were saved it would 
not be congressional government; it would be cabinet govern- 
! ment after the British model. Although the book was ex- 
I ceedingly well done, entirely independent in thinking, and 
! written in a style that might save many another dissertation 
1 of infinitely less value, the author had not after all drawn the 
1 conclusion to which his study pointed. 

J If direct and open responsibility for the policies of demo- 

f cratic government be absolutely necessary, then the elabo- 
j rate scheme of checks and balances set up by the fathers 
|g of 1787, designed to prevent things from being done rather 
than to forward things that needed to be done, must go. 
jl If the president must shape and guide legislation and stand 

fl ^Woodrow Wilson, "Congressional Government," Boston, 1885. Professor Stockton Axson 

informs the writer that Wilson did not expect to apply for the doctorate. It was the interest 
taken by Miss Thomas, then dean of Bryo Mawr College, that induced him to take the ex- 
amination and receive the degree. 


or fall with the people according to the measure of suc- 
cess attained, then the shirking of responsibility through 
division of authority, house, senate, and supreme coulrt, must 
cease. That would be democracy such as the English were 
already approaching and such as the American system was 
daily defeating. 

But to this radical, if logical conclusion, young Wilson, 
aristocratic and conservative as he was, did not think of pro- 
ceeding. He had made his contribution; he was ready for the 
next turn in his career and he took it, leaving to the political 
doctors to determine what reforms should be applied to the 
rickety Federal system in Washington. His book was well 
received by all the critics; it' went through many editions 
during the next decades|Jbut there is no sign that any con- 
gressman ever read it/ Certainly none ever took serious note 
of it till nearly thirly years later when the author sat in the 
White House and men began to cast about to learn what 
manner of man the new President was. 

It was not long before opportunities came to the author of 
"Congressional Government" to take positions in different 
colleges. He accepted the position of associate professor of 
history and political science in Bryn Mawr College, Pennsyl- 
vania, and there he took up the work he was to pursue during 
the succeeding eighteen years. It was significant of the 
future, perhaps, that his first position was in a woman's 

Meanwhile, the vows to Miss Axson had not been forgotten. 
On June 24, 1885, they were married at her grandfather's 
house in Savannah. Their honeymoon was spent in the 
moimtains of North Carolina, near Waynesville, where gen- 
tlemen and ladies of South Carolina and Georgia had spent 
vacations and honeymoons for a hundred years or more. 
The next autumn the young couple took up their residence 


near Philadelphia, and Wilson began the work of teaching 
the art and science of government to young ladies. He 
began his career very near where his paternal grandfather 
had begun nearly a hundred years before and not far from 
Princeton where his great triumphs, as well as his sorest trials, 
were to take place. 


BRYN MAWR COLLEGE was in the suburbs of Philadel- 
phia. Its doors had only a short time before been opened. 
There was every opportunity for its president and board of 
control to set themselves to new tasks, to improvement and 
reform, and doubtless Wilson felt that the way was open. At 
any rate, the limitations of the legal profession, as he had 
felt them in Atlanta, could not apply. 

But Philadelphia was already bound hand and foot to the 
great Pennsylvania machine whose master was Don Cam- 
eron. And in Pennsylvania men had gone a long way from 
those ideals which Franklin had set up and which Lincoln 
temporarily restored in 1860. The conventions of Georgia 
could not have been more stifling than were the limitations 
of the new environment. Nor was there more freedom 
across the river in New Jersey. The whole North was in 
1885 caught in that full and driving current which made 
men behave in essential things just as the Southerners had 
behaved under the heavy pressure of slavery. 

In such a world the yoimg lawyer-professor had httle to 
do but stick to his last. For the moment all his ideas, as 
expressed in "Congressional Government," were abandoned, 
save as they might be pressed upon the yoimg women of 
well-to-do families who attended his lectures. He was 
simply a teacher; and three years of successful study and 
teaching followed. From Bryn Mawr he went to Wesleyan 



University, Middletown.Corm., in 1888,wliere he taught young 
men, doubtless with more satisfaction, till 1890. His next 
move was to Princeton where he became professor of jurispru- 
dence, that is, he taught political science. This position he 
held for thirteen years and he quickly became one of the 
best known specialists in his subject in the country. 

His success at Princeton was instant, and he was in frequent 
demand for lectures and addresses all over the East. At 
home his students adored him, while his colleagues readily 
yielded to his leadership in University matters. They were 
happy years, those thirteen of his professorship at Princeton. 
And the circumstances of his home were also most favourable 
to his development. 

Mrs. Wilson was a woman of genuine culture and real 
interest in the work of her husband. She was interested, 
moreover, in art on her own account. She designed the 
Wilson home and made it an artistic retreat, although the 
income of the family was not such as to make it luxurious. 
There were three daughters in the family who added liveliness 
as they grew older. And young Stockton Axson, Mrs. Wil- 
son's brother, who had joined the household at Wesleyan, 
remained a constant member of the family group at Prince- 
ton where he was professor of English literature till 1913. 
Miss Helen Bones, Mr. Wilson's cousin of the old Augusta 
connection, came on to attend a school for young ladies in 
Princeton. She, too, was a member of the family for the 
period of her studies in the town.* And Doctor Joseph R. 
Wilson, worn out with many years of teaching and preaching 
in the South, took up his abode with his favourite son during 
these early Princeton years. It was a big family and there 
was always good talk and frequent entertainment of guests. 

iMiss Bones became'a member of the Wilson family again when its head entered the White 
House in 1913. 


Wilson had undergone such a regular and steady develop- 
ment that he never broke with the strong church of his 
Scotch forebears. He was regularly at church and a leader 
in its work. Nor did the atmosphere at Princeton tend 
to develop other tendencies. He was a moderate, how- 
ever, and not a little impatient with the ancient dogmas 
and fearful hymnology of Presbyterianism; but it was the 
impatience of reform and not of revolt. He was an active 
ruling elder in the Second Church of Princeton during most 
of his career as professor in the University. 

Success as a teacher and acceptability as a leader in his 
lather's church were not the goals which Wilson had set 
himself. His own genius, stimulated by the remarkable 
scholarship of Herbert B. Adams at Johns Hopkins, pointed 
the way to historical research. And while yet a young teacher 
at Bryn Mawr, he wrote an article for the New Princeton 
Review which marked him for an original thinker in history. 
It was the beginning of that period of American historical 
research in which the notion that facts, all the facts, consti- 
tute the beginning and the end of success was so popular. 
Although Wilson was himself a pupil of Herbert Adams, the 
foremost of the "Germans," he pointed out how much more 
important it was to understand, to read the sources with 
the eye of imagination. He demanded that historians know 
more of life and human nature; he declared that the whole 
field of literature was the historian's laboratory. 

Moreover, there was at that time a growing dogmatism 
among historians that all the great choices of life are made . 
from economic motives. To this young Wilson replied that 
"men love gain, but they sometimes love one another."* 
Two years later he points out the failure of James Bryce in 

*The New Princston Review, March, 1887. 


his "American Commonwealth" to imderstand the growth 
of American nationality although he did point out the 
greatness of Biyce's contribution.' Thus early did Wil- 
son suggest one of the most important facta in American 
history. The nation was not struck ofip either in 1776 or 
1787, as Gladstone declared with so much gusto: "until a 
people thinks its government national it is not national." 
There was no nation in the United States till after the 
defeat of General Lee at Appomattox.^ 

In similar fresh 'and independent manner Wilson re- 
viewed Burgess's "Political Science" in the Atlantic 
Monthly in 1891 and found it almost entirely wanting. Nor 
did James Ford Rhodes meet the test of true history in 
his monumental volumes then beginning to make a stir 
in the world. To Wilson it was shallow learning that 
treated the great Civil War as involving the treason of "^ 
one section and the righteous apotheosis of the other. There 
was no treason, since there had been no nati on till the war 
determined the question of sovereignty." 

Intlie unfoldingM Wilson's genius for the quick under- 
standing of American history, the influence of Frederick J. ' 
Turner, while both men were still at Johns Hopkins Univer- 
sity, can not be overlooked. It was the time for a fresh 
judgment of the American development. Both Turner and 
Wilson had eyes of their own and both were men of independ- 
ent thought, a very rare thing in historians. One of them 
was from the far-oflF state of Wisconsin, not then so well 
known as now; the other was fresh from the, broken South. 
They walked together and talked together. American 

'YoungWilson's review of Bryce's book was the best of all that appeared in America, and it led 
to a warm and close friendsfaip of the two men. 
' Political Science Quarierli/t March, 1889, 
■ Athmtie Monthly, August, 1893. 


history and the weakness of the American method of politi- 
cal expression were their themes. Wilson surely influenced 
Turner and lent new earnestness to his historip41 independ- 
ence. Turner made Wilson realize how miich the West 
and the ever-moving frontier had determined the course of 
American history.^ If Turner has never written a full history 
of the country, he has influenced the writirjg of that history 
more than any other man of his generation/ If Wilson never 
became the great historian that he could easily have been, 
there can be no doubt that he influenced the interpretation 
of American history in a way that few had done before him. 
It sometimes seems a pity that Wilson leaned more and more 
to political science and finally to pohtics, but the great world 
will hardly quarrel with him for these backslidings. 

He did, however, in a little volume, "Division and Re- 
union," published in 1893, set up a school of historical 
thought which has long since become orthodox. His idea 
that the nation was not born till the close of the Civil War 
he made the basis of his treatment of the period of 1829 to 
1889, and he made the case so clear that few cavil at him to- 
day. The South was right in law and constitution, but 
wrong in history. The East, on the other hand, was wrong 
in law and constitution but right in history. 

That Wilson understood Americans as few other students 
did is shown in his essay on "A Calendar of Great Ameri- 
cans," published in "Mere Literature" in 1896. Hamilton 
he classed as a great European, ill fitted to lead or shape the 
life of a frontier people who hated Europe. Of Jefferson, 
Wilson was a less discerning critic. Nor did he make Wash- 
ington fit his principle of classification closely; he admired 
Washington too much. But Lincoln he loved and under- 
stood at the same time, a rare thing for a young Southerner, 

iCoDTersation with the President and a letter of Professor Turner dated October 7, 1919. 


brought up to think of the great war president as "a black 
Republican." But Wilson was a peculiarly free spirit even 
from the first. 

His essays, his reviews of historical works, and his "Di- 
vision and Reunion" were not all of his writings in the field 
of history. In 1896 he published his " George Washington," 
a book which was, to be sure, interesting and characteristic; 
but it was all eulogy, it portrayed in all-too-glowing 
colours that Virginian civilization which flowered about 
the time of the Revolution and which went down in irretriev- 
able ruin before the reform strokes of Thomas Jeflferson. 
There was no analysis of character, no understanding of 
the delicate balancing of social forces in Virginia or pene- 
trating interpretation of constitutions and laws, such as 
Wilson gave promise of in his shorter historical studies. He 
only added to the steel-engraving status of the Father of his 

Nor was he more successful in his larger work, "The 
History of the American People," 1902. In this book of 
five volumes there are many fresh interpretations and some 
changes of emphasis. It is written in the style of the 
"George Washington," flowing English and expository, 
illustrating the major contentions of the "Division and Re- 
union"; but it does not portray those greater forces in Ameri- ^ 
can histoiy which were making short work of constitutions 
and laws, of divisions of powers, and limitations of govern- 
mental authority. Not even the brilliant suggestions of the 
review of Goldwin Smith's "History," The Fo rum, 1893, or 
the fine analysis of the reconstruction era, described in 
the Atlantic Monthly, in 1901, are made use of. In this last 
of Wilson's historical works there is a self -drawn portrait of 
the man, his personal view of critical events, and his enter- 
taining style; but that is all. He was about to quit the 


field of history, for which he had shown such talenf, without 
leaving the world a masterpiece. He was not to be a great 
historian.' ' 

In another field he had already shown equal if not superior 
gifts in the field of political science. In his first book there 
appeared the spirit of criticism, of mastery^ of precocious 
judgment in all that pertains to the scienc^of government. 
Not many young men still in their undergraduate days have 
manifested the insight into human insjtitutions that he 
manifested in his preliminary sketch of "Congressional 
Government." One thinks of James Bjyce's first draft of 
The Holy Roman Empire, a college exercise, but of few others. 
In the New Princeton Review, in the Political Science 
Quarterly, and many other periodicals, from 1887 to the day 
when Wilson became president of Princeton University, 
he put forth articles and studies on government and poli- 
tics which marked him as a gifted critic, even leader in 
public affairs, if ever scholars should come to their own in the 
United States. 

He is plainly a disciple of Edmund Burke, a young Ameri- 
can saturated with the writings of Adam Smith, of Walter 
Bagehot, Sidney Smith, and John Stuart Mill. The peculiar 
English Constitution is frequently the object of his keen 
critical judgment and discriminating praise. He sees plainly 
that free men are free men only because they have had long 
years of training in self-government. But the one thought is 
the necessity of responsible leaderidiip if men are to arrive at 
results and make reform. He laments now, as in 1879, the 
hit-or-miss methods of Congress, the failure of American 
presidents to outline policies and seek to guide legislation. 
There w as no government in Washington, he proclaimed 

• Wilsi>n, like some of his ableit contempocsries, never sat himself down for a laborious work 
because be felt so strongly the instant need of things. He wrote his "American People" for a 
popular magazine, not for the future nor for the thinkers of his own time. 


maiiy times, and he found plenty of witnesses to that claim' 
among the writer's who spoke with authority on the sub- 
ject. As an ardent tariff reformer, an admirer of George 
William Curtis, and believer in the Democratic party, he 
viewed with immixed pleasure the second advent of Grover 
Cleveland to office. It was a time for his ideas to get a 
hearing from men in high station. It was all a matter of 
leadership, good administration, and the application of the old 
principles of British Liberalism, of government by gentlemen 
and for the people. 

"Large powers and unhampered discretion seem to 
me the indispensable conditions of responsibility. There 
is no danger in power if it be not irresponsible. It is harder 
for democracy to organize administration than for monarchies 
to do so. We have enthroned public opinion. . . . The 
reformer in a democracy must stir up the public to search for 
an opinion and then manage to put the right opinion in its 
way."' In April, 1893, he wrote a significant article for 
The Review of Reviews in which he repeats all his former 
ideas and very gently but strongly urges the new president 
to resume leadership. The relations of Cabinet and Congress 
might now be made intimate since for the first time in many 
years all elements of the Government were in full accord. Let 
the President become prime minister and let Cabinet officers 
become the media for the coordination of the people's in- 

What nrather Wilson nor the new president saw in those 
critical days of the second Cleveland Administration was the 
growing, crying, and shameful inequalities and exploitations 
in American social and economic life. There can be no 
political democracy where economic democracy fails. And 

■"LettersaDdJonmalsofLordElgin/'londoii, 1872, 141, Bryce's Commonwealth. 
1 Political Science Quarterly, June, 1887. 


that fact underlay the Cleveland troubles that brewed thick 
and fast as soon as it became evident that he did not hear the 
cries of the suffering South and West. Any application of 
Wilson's reforms would have focused more sharply than 
ever the responsibility for doing nothing, and while Cleve^. 
land was a brave man, those who had brought about his 
second nomination and election did not wish the whole na- 
tion to turn its eyes upon the cause of its ills. 

For twenty years divided counsels had been a cover for the 
exploitations which had made the word "democracy" a farce 
in the country. Now the only escape from a public under- 
standing of the failures of reforms — financial, tariff, and other- 
wise — offered in the strictest maintenance of the old habit 
of sharply divided powers. If Congress muddled the tar- 
iff and left the burdens of taxation on the shoulders of the 
poor, the President might publicly wash his hands of re- 
sponsibility; if the President refused any and all reforms of an 
iniquitous financial system, Congress could point to its silver 
legislation; and if both Congress and President agreed upon 
some mitigation of tinfair tariff taxation by enacting an in- 
come tax, the Supreme Court could veto it as a violation of 
the Federal Constitution. Thus nothing would be done and 
the Constitution could be trusted to salve men's consciences. ; 

The time had come in the history of the great indus- 
trial states of the North when strict construction of the 
Constitution, the principle of a sharply enforced limitation 
of powers as between the great departments of government 
was as important to them as a similar system of administra- 
tion had been to the great planters of 1860. The Republican 
party was as much the champion of privilege in the period 
of 1880 to 1900 as the Democratic party had been when 
Jefferson Davis and James Buchanan had been its leaders. 
Could Cleveland make a new and ardent democracy of groups 


of men who gave him his second chance? Could Gorman 
and Whitney and Gresham and the rest make a Lincoln of 

It is a rare thing that university professors have the fore- 
sight to sympathize with great popular movements. And 
Wilson was no exception to the rule in the early Princeton 
days. He hardly wished the President to place himself at 
the head of the distressed and revolutionary Southern and 
Western elements of the national population. Yet he had a 
vague feeling that the masses were not wrong as he showed 
when he said in a well-known address at Princeton: "The 
danger does not lie in the fact that the masses, whom we have 
enfranchised, seek to work any iniquity upon us, for their aim, 
take it in the large, is to make a righteous polity."' Nor is it 
at all improbable that he voted for Mr. Bryan in that alarm- 
ing election. But if so, he had not changed the view so often 
expressed that the people could not know what was best for ' 
them. He frequently used language Uke the following : When 
young college men go home to face "the unthinking mass 
of men"; and again, "to hear the agitators talk, you would 
suppose that righteousness was young and wisdom but of 
yesterday. . . . How many [educated men] know when 
to laugh? "2 

Although Wilson's plan of responsible leadership must 
have compelled public men to make reforms, and he was to 
that extent a reformer himself, he was still a Liberal of the 
Gladstone school, an American scholar who hoped to see 
American institutions take on more of the forms of the 
British constitutional procedure. Such a proposition, if 
made in Congress or in a great national convention, would 
have caused its author to be denounced as something worse 

Tie Fonim, December, 1806. 
"Tke Forum, September, 18**. 


than a scholar in politics. Wilson was thus not quite a 
practical man, as, in fact, it was charged that all the Georg®^ 
William Curtis refonners were not. *f 

But it is given to a professor of jurisprudence in an Eastern ~ 
university to be both conservative and unpractical. Wilson 
had no dream that he should ever be the president of the 
United States. His books and his students interested him. 
Of the former, he was constantly putting out his due pro- 
portion, and the University authorities were taking notice of 
his industry if not raising his salary. In 1889 he had pub- 
lished "The State, Elements of Historical and Practical Poli- 
tics," a text book which went through many editions and 
played a great part in the training of young men all over the 
country. Some of his best studies of politics and of the 
philosophy of government he brought out in two of the best 
books he ever published: "An Old Master and Other Essays" 
and " Mere Literature," both of that lean year, 1893. More- 
over, he was busy all the while presenting his ideas to au- 
diences, such as that of the Chicago Exposition of 1893, of 
the St. Louis Exposition of 1904, and of universities every- 
where. There were few more eloquent or efFective speakers 
in the country. The fruit of these years of thinking as well 
as the consummation of his political thought may be found 
in "Constitutional Government of the United States," a work 
which came out after he had become a public leader as presi- 
dent of Princeton University.* 

In this work one sees the mature thought of Professor Wil- 
son. He is still the sincere Liberal, a believer in his own 
earlier views as to the need of leadership in American life. 
As he contrasted the pushing business men of the country, 
who had captured the resources of the people and become im- 
mensely rich, with the leaders of political life, he noted the 

'Woodrow Wilson, "Constitutional Government in the United Stotea," New York 1008. 


concentration of initiative and responsibility in the one class 
and the division of authority in the other. He could not 
help explaining the failure of public men by making plain 
that they had never been trusted with the powers necessary to 
the protection of the public interest. The Fathers had, 
he contended, endeavoured to set up a Newtonian system 
of government which should, when once set going, never 
cease to function, as if it were propelled hy some social law of 

Thus he repeats the criticisms of his "Congressional 
Government." The presidency stood aloof; each house of 
Congress was self-sufficient; and the Supreme Court main- 
tained a lofty independence all its own. No other such 
machine existed in the modem world. It was and still is an 
anachronism, a left-over of that magnificent age of French 
interpretation of the British system, something that never had 
existence elsewhere. But remarkable as the American con- 
stitutions were, Wilson portrayed them and their workings 
in clear and penetrating chapters. At the end of his first 
period of constructive study, he is full and ripe, just and 
a^niirably balanced. His chapter on the courts is one of 
the most enlightening portrayals of that difficult sub- 
ject in our literature. He says not a word too much; he 
leaves little to be said. 

But in all that he says there is a marked tone of moderate 
conservatism. He prefers the American courts to the Brit- 
ish. And inuch as he thinks America has lost by the sepa- 
rating of executive from legislative departments, he gives an 
account of the two Houses of Congress which Congressmen 
themselves would hardly resent. He shows how secret com- 
mittees militate against good government, but hardly touches 
upon the corruption that inherently connects itself with such 
secrecy. Political parties receive philosophical treatment. 


They are the necessary products of the constitutions that 
had been set up. They hold men and states together by 
their hot scramble for office. Their bosses are evils, but lesser 
evils than the anarchy which they prevent. Americans 
have great, smooth, and selfish party machines because 
Americans will not officially trust anybody with authority 
and leadership. 

Contrary to Wilson's philosophy of concentrated lead- 
ership as the practice of judicial vetoes is, he does not find 
another way in a country of written constitutions. He 
does not hesitate to say that courts should annul social 
legislation that invades the field of state activity. Harsh 
child-labour laws are better to him in 1908 than too-far-reach- 
ing Federal statutes. Yet he sees that conflicting lawsflf 
states in regulation of interstate commerce is one of the 
greatest evils of the time. He makes plain that the object of 
-the framers of the Federal Constitution was to thwart 
/ democracy, but he does not condemn the motive. It is not 
his place to condemn but to describe. 

In this final fruit of Wilson's thinking on American con- 
stitutional practices we have less of the avowed Burkeian 
philosophy and more of the American eclectic. The author 
has grown mature. He no longer writes with strong imder- 
tones of disapprobation as in the earlier years. White h? 
sees the fatal weakness of the American system, he doubtless 
feels that institutions more than a hundred years old do not 
easily lend themselves to quick improvement. He would 
still have the president lead the country and guide Congress; 
but he shows much more of the patience with presidents who 
refuse to follow the advice than he had once shown. Of new 
things, sudden changes, and quick reforms he has none too 
high an estimate. "You had better endure the ills you know 
than fly to ills you know not of," was perhaps his frame of 


mind. It was Wilson the statesman that spoke in these pages 
and the conservative statesman, too. In proof of this there 
is abundant evidence. But while this book was a-making 
and long before it went to press another way to leadership 
had opened to Wilson, the road to the presidency of Princeton 

The old College of New Jersey, beginning to be known as 
Princeton University .^ was founded in 1746 as a true school 
of the prophets. Its professors had been for more than a 
hundred years the devoted teachers of young ministers and 
yoimg teachers who went into the great Southern and 
Western wildernesses to toil and pray among frontier folk. 
When Wilson was himself a student at Princeton, the at- 
mosphere was stUl one of prayer and religious devotion. The 
spirit of Jonathan Edwards and of Doctor Witherspoon 
were still potent forces there when Wilson became a professor, 
although the leaven of the newer and worldly life of America 
was doing its work. While Wilson was primarily a historian 
and a political scientist, he could not avoid taking a part in' 
the administration of President Patton. The full day of 
pre'sidential autocracy in American colleges had not dawned 
and successful professors had a large share in the general 
management of their institutions. 

iCor was Wilson's share in the least unwelcome. He had a 
great influence with the students and his reputation as a 
writer was daily growing. It was the day of science versus 
the humanities. Wilson was a humanitaria^ijj^JHenad never^ 
shaken off the influence of that stem cl^Scal traming 
which his grandfather had given him. WoodroT^ Wilson had 
grown up in the atmosphere of Greek roots and Latin forms 
and he never broke with his own past. It was natural, then, 
that he should break a lance for the humanities. He played 

•The college was formally christened Princeton University in 1898. i 


the part well in The Forum, in September, 1894 : Science is cold 
and calculating. It allows nothing to the human spirit. And 
the by-products of its laboratories are lack of faith and 
absence of that reverence for great things which are of the 
very essence of history. Science can never combat socialism. 
The two are alike scientific and not sufficiently human. It 
was the day when men in the universities feared socialism. 

He would have all young men know the languages of 
ancient philosophy and ancient government. They must 
know Greek and Latin and Mathematics, for "the good of 
their souls" as he said in a New York address. And know- 
ing these they must "get great blocks of history" in or- 
der to know what men had struggled for in all time, to have 
the material in mind for testing new devices in social 
and political life. To this formidable list of things to be 
known by the college graduate he adds a longer and fuller 
study of English literature where once again men will come 
to know the materials men have worked upon, the ideals for 
which men have fought and died. 

"Every university should make the reading of English 
literature compulsory from entrance to graduation. It 
offers the basis of a common American culture for college men. 
It gives imagination for affairs and the standards by which 
things invisible and of the spirit are to be measured."' 
In Princeton and elsewhere young Professor Wilson was re- 
garded as the champion of the humanities as against the 
scientists; and there was other reason for addresses at 
colleges and associations of teachers and ministers. It was 
not as a candidate for the presidency of Princeton or any 
other office that he was so active. He was naturally a leader 
of men, original in his research and fearless in the promulga- 
tion of his ideas — and ideas filled his mind to overflow. 

TAe Forum, September, 18M. 


It was in recognition of this that he was chosen in 1896 to 
deliver one of the addresses in commemoration of the one 
hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the 
College of New Jersey. It was to be a great occasion in the 
college world, and the opportunity to impress leaders of 
educational thought was so inviting that Wilson prepared 
himself as he had never before prepared for an address. It 
was in October, in the midst of that historic first Bryan 
campaign when all the East was keyed to a high pitch* 
of nervous excitement. What Wilson said was both a pro- 
fession of faith and a chart for the future. He made a pro- 
found impression and his address was printed in full in The 
Forum, a periodical whose pages had already been opened 
by the editor, Mr. Walter H. Page, to the productions of his 
young fellow Southerner. 

I have already said that this was a notable address. It 
was the most important of Wilson's public pronouncements 
before he entered the presidency of the United States, seven- 
teen years later. After a careful review of the greater events 
in Princeton's history and Princeton's contribution to the 
American social and national life and when he had his 
audience following him in full acceptance of his views, he reit- 
erated his ideal university training: "Religion is the salt 
of the earth wherewith to keep both duty and learning sweet 
against the taint of time and change; the catholic study of the 
world's literature as a record of the spirit is the right prepara- 
tion for leadership in the world's affairs; you do not know the 
world until you know the men who have possessed it and 
tried its ways before ever you were given your brief run 
upon it; the cultured mind can not complain, it can not 
trifle, it can not despair, leave pessimism to the uncultured 
who do not know the reasonableness of hope."' 

'The Forum, December, 1896. 


But having shown the way to university men everywhere, 
he sounded a warning against the dangers which threatened 
men: "I am much mistaken if the scientific spirit of the age 
is not doing us a great disservice, working in us a certain 
great degeneracy. Science has transformed the world and 
owes Httle debt of obhgation to any past age. It has driven 
mystery out of the universe. Science teaches us to believe m 
the present and in the future more than in the past, to deem 
the newest theory of society the likeliest. It has given us 
agnosticism in the realm of philosophy and scientific anarchy 
in the field of politics," Although he recognized that these 
by-products of science were perhaps not the intended results 
of scientific investigation, they did set the world agog and 
they made it the duty of teachers and leaders everywhere 
to beware the dangers of a final break with the past, to guard 
young men against abandoning the "old driU, the old memory 
of times gone by, the old schooling in precedent and tradition, 
the old keeping of the faith as a preparation for leadership 
in days of social change. We must make the humanities 
human again; we must recall what manner of men we are." 

"It has been Princeton's work, in all ordinary seasons, not 
to change but to strengthen society, to give not yeast but 
bread for the raising; the business of the world is not in- 
dividual success, but its own betterment, strengthening, and 
growth in spiritual insight. There is laid upon us the com- 
pulsion of the national life. We dare not keep aloof and 
closet ourselves while a nation comes to its maturity." 
It was surely a remarkable appeal to educators everywhere 
which Wilson made that day, and its publication a little later 
extended its range to all the universities. From that time 
he was regarded at Princeton as the most suitable man for the 
next presidency. 

All the logic of events as well as the growing fame of Wilson 


pointed to Hm as the one man whom the trustees must 
select in due time to lead the University. Students and pro- 
fessors alike favoured the change. And In 1899 when Yale, 
which had always influenced Princeton, abandoned its policy 
of a clergyman for president and chose Professor Hadley as 
its leader, the pressure became stronger. In 1902, President 
Patton quietly laid down the baton of oflBce, retaining his 
professorship in the Theological Seminary, and Woodrow 
Wilson took up the work of president of Princeton University. 
Hewas a little less than forty-four years old; he was well-known 
as a historian and the leader of the new profession of political 
science; and he was an orator of unusual grace and elo- 
quence, a layman come first to the successorship of a long line 
of clergyman presidents of the University. The query of all 
was: "What will this layman do in his new and important 
role?" It was not long before the country knew what the 
President of Princeton was doing and Princeton Itself could 
not be kept off the front pages of the secular press every- 
where. Men sought to put new wine in old bottles and 
there was much difficulty to keep the vessels whole. 


PRINCETON UNIVERSITY is one of the oldest institu- 
tions of learning in the United States. It was founded in 1746 
by radical democrats calling themselves evangelical Presby- 
terians of whom William Tennent and his three remarkable 
preacher sons were the pioneers. These earnest men were 
very much like the early Franciscan monks who carried the 
Gospel to the poor and the rich without money and without 
price. They preached a doctrine of freedom, emotionalism, 
and faith in the ancient classics that had a profound in- 
fluence upon the Middle colonies and the old South. The^ 
travelled, like the Methodists, everywhere; they invaded the 
precincts of older and more conservative ministers; and they 
set up log schools wherever yoimg men interested in learning 
could be brought together. The College of New Jersey, as 
the institution was called in its early history, was the chief of 
all these schools; it was the "headquarters" of the travelling 
preachers as well as all those of the so-called New Light 

For more than a hundred years it did its marvellous 
work on an endowment ranging from nothing to two hundred 
thousand dollars and with a teaching corps of five or six 
devoted men. Latin, Greek, a little mathematics, and a 
wealth of Scotch theology composed their stock' in t^ade. 

'Alexander, A., "Biographical Sketches of the Ibunders and Principal AIuDmi ot the Log 
CoUage." Princeton, 1849. 



Aaron Burr> senior, Samuel Davies, and the beloved Doctor 
John Witherspoon were their leaders and models of char- 
acter. The students, numbering from a score to a hundred 
and fifty, were in the main poor fellows from the Middle 
States and the South who intended to become preachers, teach- 
ers or, in the Revolutionary years, public men. The atmos' 
phere of the place was that of a monastery. All day long 
students and professors were busy with their classics and 
their theology or arranging the necessaries of a frugal life, 
chopping their wood in winter or cultivating their gardens 
in summer. While this appears unusual and primitive to us, 
it was but a miniature of the life of the people of the United 
States before I86O.1 

But this stern, simple ideal was not to continue. The 
Civil War which worked so great a change in other ways 
revolutionized the College of New Jersey. Soon after the 
close of the war Doctor James McCosh, an eminent Scotch 
divine, somewha.t inclined to accept the fatal Darwinian 
theory of evolution, became the president of the old school. 
He found the alumni of Princeton growing rich everywhere 
in the North. They gave of their wealth to erect new 
buildings and to equip new laboratories. Their sons went 
to the college in increasing numbers. They were not theo- 
logs, but merely young men seeking an education. Science 
gradually won a place in this school of the prophets, due per- 
haps to the great influence of Professor Henry, the physicist. 
Slowly the old austerity gave place to an easier piety. A 
rich people, like those of the United States were coming to be, 
could not have their sons attend prayers in cold winter 
weather at five o'clock in the morning. In the twenty years 
following the advent of Doctor McCosh, in 1868, the college 
changed its character perceptibly. 

IColliiu, Varnum L., "Princeton." This is a valuable brief history of Princeton University. 


But after 1888, when President Patton occupied "the 
place of Witherspoon," the change took on an amazing pace. 
Beautiful buildings adorned the campus. The professors in- 
creased in number and assumed the manners of men of the 
world, even if their salaries did remain meagre. The students, 
instead of chopping their own firewood and fringing water 
from the nearest wells, united in clubs, built^iiiemselves 
luxurious clubhouses, employed the best of servants, and dined 
in the manner of gentlemen who knew the good things of 
life. Instead of the dog-eared Greek and Latin texts of 
their primitive predecessors handed down from generation to 
generation, they found excellent tutors who could, for a con- 
sideration, drill enough of the wicked classics into their easy- 
going heads to enable them to pass examinations and take the 
coveted degree at the ends of their stipulated periods of study. 
As a certain lady patron of the University was wont to say, 
"Princeton was a delightfully aristocratic place." 

At this turn in the history of the University Woodrow 
Wilson, the son of one of those poor, austere students of the 
older days, became president. As we already know, he be- 
lieved in work both for its own sake and for the sake of 
students who needed to fight the devil with busy brains. He 
believed not only in setting the Princeton youth to work; he 
thought the students of all the colleges of the East needed to 
have their attention called to the purposes for which men go 
to college. Harvard, Yale, and the rest were in like plight with 
Princeton. Fraternities, clubs, and athletic sports had every- 
where usurped, as he said, the functions of the "main tent." 
Men went to college to have a good time, to learn a little from 
their fellows, and return home finished gentlemen, farther 
removed than ever from the workaday worid in which all 
men should have a personal part. 

If Princeton was to be set again upon the hard and thorny 


path of Doctor Witherspoon, the new president had a task 
before him. It was the year 1902 when all the United States 
was busy with its great trusts, with its railroad combina- 
tions stronger than the Government itself, and with its metro- 
politan newspapers ^diose editors could make or unmake 
men and plans more easily than they can now. Wilson's 
task was a delicate task; for, in addition to making 
students study, he must not alienate the professors, always 
slow to welcome change, and he must hold the allegiance of 
the wealthy fathers and other alumni whose sons and friends 
would dislike intensely the contemplated reforms. 

The endowment of Princeton, in 1902, was about two 
millions; the number of professors was one hundred and 
eight; and the number of students thirteen hundred. There 
was an annual deficit to be met by the president from gifts 
of alumni and friends. 
.^^ Wilson set about his work quietly. He improved the 
student honour system which he had caused to be introduced 
a few years before by the organization of the seniorx council, 
a body of students whose business it was to lead and give 
tone to undergraduate activities of all sorts and sit in judg- 
ment over those who failed to observe the tacit rules of the 
student governing system. 

He endeavoured to have more rigorous tests applied in the 
examinations and to give greater importance to the marking 
system. It became increasingly difficult for men to pass 
their examinations, and after 1902 somewhat more than a 
hundred students were required to leave college each year 
because they had not passed their tests. The president 
announced in one of his earlier addresses that "some day I 
predict with great confidence there will be an enthusiasm 
for learning in Princeton."^ 

'The Alumni Weekly, November 26, 1904. 


The sincerity of the president is manifested in his second 
annual report in which he acknowledges without embarrass- 
ment the falling off in the number of students. He had said 
in his inaugural that "the college is for the minority who plan, 
who conceive and mediate between social groups and must 
see the wide stage whole. We must deal with the spirits of 
men, not with their fortunes. The man who has not- some 
surplus of thought and energy to expend outside the narrow 
circle of his own task and interest is a dwarfed, uneducated* 
man." He was now endeavouring to make good that 
prophecy. ' 

Of equal importance was his reform of the curriculum so 
as to make it meet the needs of an advancing age. The 
classics were retained as the basic content in the training of 
men who expected to study in the field of the social sciences, 
for men who were to deal with history and other manifesta- 
tions of the human spirit. But if students wished to 
devote the major part of their work to the sciences, and win 
at the end of their courses the B. S. degree, they might 
omit Greek and add an equivalent in the modern languages. 
But all students were to follow a certain prescribed course 
during the first two years of their college careers. It was 
rather an ideal solution of the problem, and many colleges 
and universities of the country have been influenced by 

But a larger matter was already engaging the new presi- 
dent's attention. In his efforts to induce men to love study 
and to guide them in their search for the best and most useful 
knowledge, he came to the conclusion that one of the reasons 
for the break-down in the intellectual morale of American 
universities was the fact that teachers had got out of touch 
with their students. There were too many students in pro- 

'Princeton Vniveraity SulUtin, 1901-03. Wilson's inaugural. 


portion to the number of experienced teachers, as well as too 
many fat purses. How was the professor to regain that in- 
timate companionship with the young men under his care 
which had made the early graduates of Princeton such 
successful and even famous men? 

This question Wilson answered in his annual report of 1904 
in what has come to be called the preceptorial system. In this 
he was doubtless influenced by the ideas of President Harper 
of the University of Chicago who had insisted from the 
foundation of that institution that successful teaching could 
only be done in small classes. But Wilson went further. He 
would not only have small classes. He would have a large 
number of capable instructors live in the dormitories, become 
companions of the young men, and guide their studies and 
reading. He would put college boys into touch with maturer 
minds and give them the companionship which they so much 
needed. It was not the Oxford system although there was 
a certain resemblance to it. 

If this system were to be made effective it would cost' the 
University a hundred thousand dollars a year. Wilson ap- 
pointed a great committee of alumni' and supporters of the 
University of which Cleveland H. Dodge and Cyrus McCor- 
mick were members and asked them to provide the funds. 
Large sums of money were found and within a year the plan 
went into effect with general approval, alt^ugh some mem- 
bers of the faculty were a little disposed to demur when two 
score young doctors of philosophy, engaged as tutors, and un- 
acquainted with the ancient ways of Princeton, were admitted 
to that body with professorial privileges. Nor did the 
students hasten to assume this second burdensome yoke of 
study; however, there was too much enthusiasm everywhere 
in 1905 for the new president for resistance to be seriously 

Ulwant Wukly, February SS, ISOS. 


offered. The preceptorial system of instruction became at 
once a part of the Princeton method.' 

The hastening of the pace of student work, the solution of 
the problems of the curriculum, the classics, and the far 
larger matter of how best to lead young men into the paths 
of scholarship and science pointed the way the president 
would go to the end. He was earnest and liberal minded, 
but Scotch-bent in his plans. If his spirit prevailed the 
ideals of Jonathan Edwards and Doctor Witherspoon as 
applied in divinity would be carried into the broader work of 
the modem university and young men would go to college not 
only with burning purposes to accomplish something for 
themselves but with the ambition to do something for the 
world after graduation. 

The revolutionary character of Wilson's plans may be 
seen in an address which he delivered on November 29, 1907, 
before the Association of Colleges and Preparatory Schools 
of the Middle States and Maryland: "We have just passed 
through a period in education when everything seemed in 
process of dissolution, when all standards were removed; 
when men did not hold themselves to plans, but opened the 
whole field, as if you drew a river out of its course and invited 
it to spread abroad over the countryside. . . . You know 
that the pupils in the colleges in the last several decades have 
not been educated. You know that with all our teaching we 
train nobody; you know that with all our instructing we 
educate nobody. . . . We are upon the eve of a period 
when we are going to set up standards. We are upon the 
eve of a period of synthesis when, tired of this dispersion and 
standardless analysis, we are going to put things together in a 
connected and thought-out scheme of endeavour."^ 

iCoUins, V. L., "Princeton," 274-7S. 

«Ford, Henry Jones, "Woodrow Wilson, the Man and His Work," New York, 1916, M-Sft 


Although Wilson met with discouraging opposition in this 
rejuvenation of an ancient institution of learning, he was 
making headway. Wealthy friends and alumni gave him 
money for new buildings, new professorships, and endow- 
ments. Princeton became a subject of discussion in every 
home where men kept abreast of the times. People began to 
feel that it was doing a new work in the world and that the 
outcome of its experiments might be of great value to the 
country. But the president's work was not merely the work 
of a social reformer. He loved Princeton for its own sake, 
as was made plain in a speech accepting the gift of a beautiful 
lake by Andrew Carnegie: "I do not think that it is 
merely our doting love of the place that has led us to think 
of it as a place which those who love this country and like 
to dwell upon its honourable history would naturally be 
inclined to adorn with their gifts. . . . We could 
not but be patriotic here, and I know that you, yourself. 
Sir, feel the compulsion of this [Princeton's] noble tradi- 
tion." 1 

Other gifts besides that of Mr. Carnegie were added almost 
monthly to the long list. In the year 1906 Cleveland H, 
Dodge, David B. Jones, Moses Taylor Pyne, Cyrus H. 
McCormick, and scores of others gave liberally to the Univer- 
sity and thus enrolled themselves among those who sup- 
ported Wilson and his wide-reaching revolution in education. 
He was unconsciously knitting together a group of friends 
against the day, soon to dawn, when friends would be needed. 
At the same time he was, unavoidably to be sure, leaning 
upon the shoulders of wealthy men, men who might ultimately 
come to doubt the wisdom of democratizing the life of a great 
college. And their gifts of millions would lead them to 
suppose that their influence should be decisive. Whenever a 

iAlumni Weekly, December 8, 1906. 


serious difference of opinion appeared between these bene- 
factors and the president, the power of the latter for good 
would be ended. 

And the day of reckoning was, in fact, drawing nigh. In 
accordance with Wilson's matured plan of articulating all the 
resources and activities of the University about the main 
tent, as he was wont to say, the trustees, following the lead 
of the president, accepted his plan of bringing all classes of 
students together in dormitories about a common quad- 
rangle.i This plan was the next step after the adoption of the 
preceptorial system. One of the growing obstacles in the 
way of all success at Princeton was the club arrangements of 
the upper classmen. About half of the members of the 
Junior and Senior classes belonged to the clubs whose atmos- 
phere and tone were both undemocratic and not conducive 
to study. As elsewhere in the Eastern colleges, these in- 
stitutions formed the nucleus of an adolescent aristocracy 
based upon other things than merit as hard workers. Yet 
they absorbed the interest of the lower classmen and took the 
lead in what was called student activities in a way that 
seriously hindered the real purpose of the University. The 
one great anxiety of most students during their second year 
in college was whether the leaders of the clubs would take 
notice of them. And not to be chosen at the proper time was 
the worst that could befall a young man in the whole course 
of his student life. If Princeton was to be made, as Wilson 
half jokingly said, an institution of learning, the clubs must 
be abolished.^ 

The quadrangle scheme was quite as important as the 
preceptorial system. The president, therefore, endeavoured 
to win club and alumni support for the measure before he set 

iAlumni Weekly, September 25, 1907. 

'William Bayard Hale, "Woodrow Wilson, the Story of Hia Life," Chapter VIL 


about raising the money to build the new dormitories. He sent 
to the clubs at commencement time, when many prominent 
alumni were present, an outline of his proposal, asking 
careful consideration. 

The idea was to open new dormitories of the most modern 
type on the campus, to have these grouped about a main 
quadrangle so that the members of the different classes might 
come into daily contact. Many of the preceptors and other 
unmarried members of the University faculty were to have 
quarters in the new buildings and use common parlours in 
furtherance of the preceptorial method. The plan was made 
to look as attractive as possible to club members who must 
see that ultimately their luxurious and privileged quarters 
would be rendered superfluous. 

The response came quick and disconcerting. If the new 
and "distinguished" president really intended to make 
Princeton a student democracy, there was to be war to the 
knife. The clubmen went home to protest to their fathers. 
The visiting alumni returned to their conmnmities to or- 
ganize meetings of protest. The point they, one and all, 
emphasized was the "right of every man to choose his com- 
panions. " One of the leading graduates of Princeton wrote to 
the Alumni Weekly denouncing the idea that students should 
be compelled to associate with their inferiors, although the 
language used was gently veiled. Adrian H. Joline, a New 
York business man, declared publicly that Wilson's new 
scheme had not one redeeming feature about it. Influential 
professors shrugged their shoulders significantly when the 
quadrangle plan was mentioned. Before the president 
returned from his vacation, in September, a veritable outcry 
of students, alumni, and professors was made; and members 
of the trustees began to indicate their doubts about raising 
the necessary millions for the new buildings. The news- 


papers of the country discussed the proposed democratizing 
of the colleges.^ 

Princeton was indeed on the map, but Wilson was by no 
means certain of success. Realizing early in the autumn 
that he might be defeated, he yielded as gracefully as he might 
to a vote of the trustees, in special session, which withdrew 
the quadrangle plan. He let it be known, however, that the 
idea was not abandoned. 

Wilson had come to a turning point in his career. As a 
Liberal, of the general type of James Bryce and John Mor- 
ley, he had undertaken to reform and revise the educational 
system of a great American college. If he had succeeded he 
must have influenced education very much all over the 
country. But Princeton did not apparently wish to become 
simply an institution of learning. The attitude of Princeton 
and its friends proved to be the attitude of most other great 
schools. I believe no other president of an American 
university made public any sympathy with the president of 
Princeton. If Wilson meant to carry his programme, he must 
win a largerpopular support. In any campaignhe might make 
it would be necessary to take boldly the ground of democ- 
racy; but if he did so a very large element of public opinion, 
and that element which guaranteed large gifts to education, 
would be enlisted against his idea. Well-to-do Americans 
were in 1907 very skeptical of democracy. 

President Wilson was a public leader in spite of himself. He 
could not retreat without confessing defeat; he could not go 
forward without definitely antagonizing a great many of the 
most generous of his supporters. The Eastern alumni on the 
whole opposed him while the Western alumni favoured him.' 

^Alumni Weekly, passim; the New York Sun, October 18, 1907. 

'A fact which illustrates admirably that abiding sectionalism which has characterized AzDAri- 
can history from the beginning. 


The trustees numbered about twenty-seven, the Eastern men 
opposing and the Western men favouring his reforms. In 
this critical situation.he accepted many engagements to speak, 
notably in the Middle West. At Indianapolis at Christmas 
time, 1907, he made several telling addresses and was made 
the hero of more than one occasion. Thousands of people 
crowded his meetings to hear what this new educator who 
thought young college men should be made to study and be 
brought into close personal acquaintance might have to say. 
Few people knew till then that the colleges were developing 
such habits; still fewer dreamed that college boys were op- 
posed to associating with their fellows on terms of equality. 
Everywhere men made him understand that his ideas were 
theirs. Newspapers, whose editors had not been known for 
their support of good causes, now ridiculed college students 
who wished to set up exclusive cliques and groups. Public 
opinion became his weapon and students, professors, and 
trustees quickly realized that they were on the defensive; 
personal opponents of Wilson and men who believed in letting 
things drift were angry. They hoped for a blunder on the 
part of the president. Instead, a new issue was soon made 


One of the curious facts of Wilson's administration of 
Princeton was that in 1896, when the College was expanded 
into the University, Andrew P. West, a friend of Wilson, was 
made dean of the then proposed graduate school and au- 
thorized by the trustees to make a study of European univer- 
sities and report to them a plan for the organization and 
advancement of graduate studies at Princeton. West made 
a study of European institutions promptly. When Wilson 
became president a second visit was made and an elaborate 
report submitted to the trustees. This fact and the accident 
that West was not originally expected to subordinate his 


plans to those of the president of the University led to a sort 
of rivalry that was to prove all but fatal. Wilson was the 
official head of the institution; he was active and filled with 
ideas. West was ambitious, to». The graduate school was his 
particular province and he sought support wherever he went. 
Wilson pressed upon alumni and others the cause of the 
University; West and his friends talked the graduate school. 
The one was interested primarily and increasingly in under- 
graduate studies and in making young men good citizens; the 
other in advanced studies and in the development of research, 
always a matter for the few. On many occasions Wilson 
and West made tours of the East together and spoke to the 
same audiences and shared honours almost too evenly. It 
was a case of divided authority, perhaps of rivalry. 

In 1905 a beginning was made and "Merwick," a large 
private residence, was opened for advanced work and of 
course Dean West was in full charge. The same year Mrs. 
Swann, astaunch friend of the University, died and bequeathed 
about three hundred thousand dollars to the graduate school 
and it was decided to erect the new buildings on a site 
where the president's house had stood. But Dean West 
received in October of the same year the offer of the 
presidency of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. . 
He hesitated to accept and the trustees, doubtless on the 
approval of President Wilson, indicated that he ought to 
remain at Princeton and develop the graduate school. The 
offer from Boston was declined. Still the work on the new 
buildings did not begin. There was some disagreement or 
anticipated disagreement, for the committee of fifty which 
had raised so much money for the college was reorganized and 
became the graduate council, with a curious relation to the 
trustees.' Professor West was the leader in this and he thus 

iCollins, V.L., "Princeton," 881. 


gained access to the bpard of trustees. Everything tended 
to make of West's work a special and distinct division of 
the University, if not an entirely independent institution. 

While the plans of the graduate school lagged. President 
Wilson continued his appeal for interest in his quadrangle 
system. In March, 1908, he concluded a series of addresses 
in Chicago, in one of which he declared: "The body of teach- 
ers and pupils must be knit together, else nothing truly in- 
tellectual will ever come of it," that is of college work as then 
administered.^ The series of meetings in Chicago that year 
was significant as the West was the centre of Wilson's strong- 
est support. But the same tone was held in speeches de- 
livered in the East. 

However, in May, 1909, Mr. William C. Procter, a friend of 
Dean West, offered the University $500,000 on behalf of the 
graduate school, on condition that a like sum be contributed 
by other friends'of the school. Mr. Procter significantly 
niade this offer through Dean West and with the stipulation 
that the graduate school be located according to the dean's 
wishes. This meant that the graduate work of Princeton 
would be done in practical independence of the president of 
the University and at a point remote from the centre of col- 
lege life. Moreover, the president would be expected to 
raise the required $500,000 in order to secure the original 
offer. Wilson was thus asked to assist a programme of dis- ' 
integration that must be far-reaching in its effect. It was 
war open and avowed, although all parties were expected 
to maintain the friendliest air, after the manner of college and 
university rivalries. 

It required six months for the trustees to decide whether 
^hey would accept this Janus-faced gift. Then, in October, 
1909, they made up their minds to receive the gift with many 

lAlumni Weekly, March 25, 1908. 


thanks, but they asked Mr. Procter to modify his terms so 
that the president and trustees might determine the location 
of the new school. Wilson visited Mr. Procter at his home in 
Cincinnati and urged him to abandon his idea of locating 
the school at a point remote from the centre of the University. 
The appeal was unavailing. Accordingly, the trustees, upon 
the advice of the president, were about to decline the gift, 
and thus lose other large offers contingent upon the original 
offer, when Mr. Procter withdrew his proposition altogether. 
The University thus declined, early in February, 1910, gifts 
which amounted to almost a million dollars rather than ac- 
cept those gifts on conditions that defeated the purposes of 
the administration.' 

The country, already familiar with the more important 
facts of the situation at Princeton, was astounded to learn 
that a college president had actually refused the gift of a 
million dollars. The newspapers of the whole coimtiy ap- 
plauded the act, but without taking the full measure of the 
man who had won their approval. The talk of the country 
was hardly louder than the lamentations of the men at Prince- 
ton. Professors, students, and leaders of the Eastern alumni 
made a violent outcry against a president who could thus 
sacrifice the old institution. Moses Taylor Pyne, one of 
the regular contributors to deficits and other funds of the 
University, became the leader of the campaign against Wil- 
son. The storm seemed too great for any college president 
to withstand. 

On February 16th, the trustees met again and adhered 
firmly, but on a rather close vote, to their former position. 
Worn out with the long fight and doubtless discouraged by ' 
the apparent timidity of weak friends, Wilson went away to 
Bermuda for a short vacation and, perhaps, to devise his 

., 'Alumni Weekly, February 9, 1910. 


next moves in a dIflBcult game, a game, one must say, which 
had the country for spectator. 

His absence was made the opportunity for all his op- 
ponents. In the newspapers and in many meetings of the 
Eastern alumni he was abused and attacked both directly 
and by innuendo. A faculty committee appointed to consider 
the matter made minority and majority reports after the 
manner of political party committees. The majority, led by 
Professor W. M. Daniels, sustained the president; the mi- 
nority, composed of Professors West and John G. Hibben, en- 
dorsed the views of the dean.^ At a great meeting of the 
alumni in Philadelphia on March 4th, Professor Henry Van 
Dyke made an elaborate attack upon the president and Pro- 
fessor Hibben spoke in the same, if more moderate, vein at 
Montclair, New Jersey. The trustees were now so closely 
divided that a single vote was apt to turn the tide against 
Wilson. Adrian H. Joline, bitter opponent, was the can- 
didate of the East for a vacancy on the board. 

President Wilson returned early in March. He reentered 
the struggle as he was compelled to do. He visited alumni 
in all parts of the country east of the Mississippi explaining 
his plans and purposes. It was an appeal to the people. 
In Pittsburg he said: "The great voice of America does not 
come from the seats of learning. It comes in a murmur from 
the hills and the woods and the farms and factories and mills, 
rolling on and gaining volume until it comes to us from the 
homes of common men. Do these murmurs echo in the 
corridors of universities? I have not heard them. The 
imiversities would make men forget their common origins, for- 
get their universal sympathies and join a class, and no class 
can ever serve America. I have dedicated every power that 
there is within me to bring the colleges that I have anything 

Mlumni Wuliu, February 16, 1910. 


to do with to an absolute democratic regeneration in spirit, 
and I shall not be satisfied and I hope you will not be until 
America shall know that the men in the colleges are satu- 
rated with the same thought that pulses through the whole 
great body politic. 

"I know that the colleges of this country must be recon- 
structed from the top to bottom, and I know that America is 
going to demand it. While Princeton men pause and think, 
I hope that they will think on these things. Will America 
tolerate the seclusion of graduate students? Seclude a man, 
separate him from the rough and tumble of college life, from 
all the contacts of every sort and condition of men, and you 
have done a thing which America will brand with its con- 
temptuous disapproval." 1 

That was the reply to the challenge of Princeton men who 
were trying to break his power. It was an appeal to the 
country; it was democracy after the American method. It 
is plain that he had gone a long way from the position he had 
held in 1902 when he undertook the leadership of his cdma 
mater. He was no longer the gentle Liberal consorting with 
the elect; he was a revolutionist pleading for a regeneration 
of all the colleges in the United States. Could he succeed? 
Could he even succeed at Princeton? 

The answer came quickly. Although he defeated the elec- 
tion of his opponent, Joline, to the vacancy on the board of 
trustees, Dean West made still another move. He advised 
with a certain rich man who contemplated a bequest to 
Princeton — Isaac Wyman of Massachusetts, who died in 
May, 1910, leaving a will in which a gift to the graduate 
school of Princeton amounting to three million dollars was 
stipulated. Andrew West was one of the executors of the 
will. The dead speak louder in America than the living. 

>Quoted in Hale's "Woodrow Wilson," IBi-BS. 


Wilson's democracy could not withstand three million dollars 
handed out from the grave. At one stroke, after years of 
struggle, Dean West was the master at Princeton. He gave 
a dinner that commencement. President Wilson and Mr. 
Procter and Moses Taylor Pyne were present. Mr. Procter 
renewed his gift on the old terms. The trustees accepted j 
everything. It was one of those dramatic turns in Wilson's 
fortune of which there were to be many others in the near 
future. Would he resign? It was plain that new wine did 
not set well in old bottles. 


IT IS not surprising that Princeton resisted the reforms 
which President Wilson pressed upon her nor that other 
universities viewed askance the plan of democratizing col- 
lege life.^ The sons of rich men have almost always resisted 
the persuasions of their teachers to enter upon the toilsome 
road that leads to learning. What does surprise the historian 
is the readiness with which the conservatives, the bosses 
even, of the Democratic party turned to this educational 
reformer for a national leader. Moreover, it was this un- 
natural move of the conservatives of the East which set in 
motion that marvellous train of events which have made 
Woodrow Wilson the foremost leader in the world. Only a 
fair understanding of the complicated state of things in the 
United States in 1910 will enable one to understand this 
miracle of American history. 

At the close of the Civil War it became increasingly plain 
that Lincoln's generous policy of reconstruction would restore 
the free-trade and poverty-strie^n South to its old posi- 
tion in the country and with an enlarged delegation in Con- 
gress because of the emancipation of the slaves. The South 
would thus at once exercise a large influence in national affairs. 

'"It is delightful to find how much sympathy exists for my somewhat lonely fight here 
among the men in the faculties of the great universities as well as the small colleges, and I am 
hoping every day that some other President may come out and take his place beside me.' It is 
a hard fight, a long fight, and a doubtful fight, but I think I shall at least have done the good 
of precipitating a serious consideration of the matters which seem to me fundamental to the 
whole life and success of our colleges." — ^Letter to author, dated May i, 1910. 



Further, the Western states from Ohio to Nebraska had grown 
very jealous of the industrial states which dominated the 
whole North. The railroad, manufacturing, and banking 
groups of the Eastern states had grown immensely rich during 
the struggle. All these forces united in 1866 to insist upon 
a national tariflp and financial policy which would hold the 
West in subjection for half a century. Westerners, therefore, 
like George Pendleton and Allen G. Thurman of Ohio and 
scores of others from other states, protested against paying 
the national debt in gold and against a steadily rising tariff 
which bore heavily upon farmers everywhere. 

Here were two powerful sections of the nation, the South 
and the West, which had formerly supported each other in 
national affairs. They each had grievances. If the South 
were readmitted to the Union, Southern and Western men 
would inevitably unite their strength and arrange a national 
policy which would serve their interests. Andrew Johnson, 
in spite of his loud talk during the early months of his presi- 
dency, represented the promise and guarantee of such a com- 
bination. Hence the bitter struggle to impeach him. In- 
dustrial men succeeded by a campaign of hatred both in de- 
feating Johnson and in holding the South out of the Union 
for a decade. Meanwhile, industrialism made its position 

The Republican party ^as the agency through which this 
industrial supremacy was made secure.^ High tariffs^ high 
wages, and rapid railway development were the popular 
slogans under which elections were carried. Prosperity with 
the exception of certain violent reactions known as panics 
was the result, a prosperity which enabled railroads to be 
built across the continent, which raised great cities upon the 

'William A. Sunning, "Keconstruction, Political and Economic," Ch. V. 

^James A. Woodburn, "Th? Life of Thaddeus Stevens," IndianapoKs, 1913, Ch.XXI. 


plains like mushrooms that spring overnight. Industries 
that had to do with wool, cotton, iron, coal, copper, and rail- 
roads increased their returns, enriched their owners, and 
herded millions of human beings about their smoking chim- 
neys, men who spoke strange tongues, lived in dingy hovels, 
and worked for wages that just kept them going. 

From Boston to Minneapolis stretched this .vast indus- 
trial domain. Railroads tied the mines and the farms of 
the rest of the country to the nerve centres of this busy, 
smoke-blackened region. National, state, and private banks 
fed the industries, the railroads, and the other ancillary busi- 
nesses with the necessary capital which was borrowed from 
Europe or from the savings of the country. Real estate rose 
in value beyond the wildest dreams of its owners because 
industry brought millions of tenants; bank and industrial 
stocks doubled and quadrupled both in volume and in price 
because vast populations gathered in the cities increased the 
consumption of goods. Rich men grew to be millionaires 
and millionaires became masters of hundreds of millions of 
wealth. Was there ever anything like it.'' The Republicans 
answered, "No," with a mighty shout.^ 

From 1866 to 1896, the process went on almost without 
interruption. The opposition, led in the beginning by mem- 
bers of Congress from the Middle West, called itself the 
Democratic party. It consisted in a solid South voting 
against the East whether in good or ill repute and the pro- 
vincial West. The provincials of America could not see that 
it was a blessing to cover the earth with great plants and wide- 
flung mill settlements so long as cotton, corn, tobacco, and all 
other products of their lands declined in value. Their sons 

>E. Stanwood, "History of the Presidency," gives official platforms; his "Tariff Controver- 
lies" gives the philosophy. A more subtle and papular philosophy of industrialism will be 
found in John Hay's, "The Breadwinners," 188S. 




Si Si 
I I 














ran away to the cities to swell the enormous tide of new- 
comers from Europe, both of which masses of men added 
to the representation of the industrial districts in Congress 
and made the more difficult the election of any leader of the 
farming groups to the presidency. Every year the country 
regions not touched by industry became less attractive. 
Houses took on a tumbledown appearance. The South be- 
came a waste. Planters became farmers; farmers became 
tenants; and tenants took places as day labourers or emi- 
grated to the city. There was no help for it. Old America 
that lived upon the land and talked of liberty and equality 
was vanishing. Men of the Protestant faiths, people who 
read their Bibles daily and looked to the next world for ad- 
justments of the wrongs of this world, had their faith for their 
pains. Little else came their way. 

Still, it must not be inferred that the industrial forces held 
undisputed sway in all their rich region. There were remote 
Republican districts where people doubted the divinity that 
hedges business about; and there were clerks and bookkeep- 
ers and Irishmen in the big cities who worked and voted stub- 
bornly against "their betters."^ These doubting Republi- 
cans and organized common folk of the cities were potential or 
actual allies of the provincial South and West, of that older 
America which might yet win control. Nor were the pro- 
vincials altogether masters in their areas. The Negroes, 
always poor and ignorant, were a Republican thorn in the 
side of the Democratic South. Even in the agricultural 
West there were industrial and commercial pockets where the 
faith of "Pig Iron" Kelley^ was warmly preached and voted. 

iThe difficulty of holding a great state to an industrial programme is well illustrated in Mr. 
Herbert Croly'a "Marcus Hanna — His Life Work," Ch. XVI. 

'A unique champion of the industrial ssstem. See W. D. Kelley, "Speeches, Addresses, and 
Letters," 187S. 



These sometimes gained control of the machinery of govern- 
ment as in Missouri. But these are the exceptions which 
prove the rule. Articulate America was industrial; it was 
Eastern and Northern, sectional and in absolute control of the 
economic life of the country. Preachers whose names were 
iaiown far and near, universities that were known in Europe, 
the intellectuals, as a rule, were found in the industrial belt. 
Unlike the planters of the old South, the masters of in- 
dustry, bankers, managers of railroads and large business 
concerns, with incomes ranging from some thousands to a 
million a year, declined to hold office. How could they 
afiFord it .J* It proved easier and quite as safe to connect their 
business with political leadership through what all the world 
calls bosses, men like Conkling of New York, Don Cameron 
of Pennsylvania, and Mark Hanna of Ohio. These men 
controlled electoral machinery, set up candidates for Con- 
gress, town councils, and the presidency. They saw to it 
that the interests of property were more securely protected 
in free America than anywhere else in the world. ^ As in the 
South before the Civil War constitutions, state and national, 
became sacred and the courts were held to be beyond criti- 
cism. Legislative, administrative, and judicial powers were 
kept so strictly separated that effective social regulation of 
industry was almost impossible. The dead men who had 
written constitutions were everywhere more powerful than 
the living people who sought relief from intolerable evils. 
Even the cities set up similar divided governments and let 
real estate, traction, and utility interests domineer them al- 
most at will. In such a system great bankers, railway build- 
ers, and industrial leaders governed the United States quite 

as completely as ever the owners of great plantations in the 


1 Croly's "Marcus Hanna — His Life Work, " New York, 1912, and Samuel W. Pennypacker^s 
"Autobiography," New York, 1918, give evidence of this at many points. 


South had governed. One thinks of Collis P. Huntington, 
J. P. Morgan, and Stephen B. Elkins and of the days when 
their representatives were such powerful figures in Congress, 
in legislatures and city governments; of the challenge which 
Roscoe Conkling, the Republican boss of New York, gave in 
the Senate to President Garfield and of the enforced sur- 
render of President Cleveland to the bankers of New York 
in 1895.1 

It was a magnificent evolution. It must have been a joy 
to the man of affairs to live in those thirty years which fol- 
lowed the death of Lincoln. Fortunes piled high upon for- 
tunes. The scattering millionaires of 1860 multiplied till 
they were like the sands of the sea in number. Men travelled 
first in special cars, luxuriously fitted out, then in special 
trains with private diners, parlour cars, smokers, and with 
liveried servants to attend their wants. They built yachts 
that only monarchs like William II could rival. Their 
palaces occupied blocks and double blocks in the great cities, 
costing often millions of dollars and requiring more than 
princely incomes to keep them going. Not only in the cities 
did these mansions rise. In the favoured parts of New Eng- 
land, in the Adirondacks, or upon the high ridges of Pennsyl- 
vania beautiful summer homes and vast private parks ad- 
vertised the presence of men it were worth while for ordinary 
mortals to cultivate. The riches of the earth were pouring 
year after year into the narrow region which the census 
takers know as the industrial belt. New York City carried 
half the bank deposits of the country and her bankers issued 
ukases to the people of all industries.* The treasury of the 
United States feared to act independently of half a dozen 

*The contract which the President was compelled to sign will be found in W. J. Sryan, 
"First Battle," Chicago, 1896, p. IS*. 
'Carl Hovey, "The Life Story of J. Pierpont Morgan," New York, 1911 , Ctaps. Vm-XI. 


Eastern financiers. ^ Country merchants far and near en- 
deavoured to have their names on the books of these elect of 
the world; little bankers in every town and city scraped to- 
gether as much money as possible in order to maintain big 
balances in Wall Street; clergymen learned the law from real 
masters rather than from musty books said to come from a 
certain mountain in ancient Palestine; and universities were 
very loth to fall into ill favour with the only men of power in 
the country.^ What else could men do? They were caught 
in a system, as the people of the old South had been caught 
in the slavery system. 

Yet forces were forging for an emancipation. Conditions 
were becoming so hard that men, American men at least, 
would not endure them. Every year from 1866 to 1896 the 
returns of the farms of the South and West declined in pur- 
chasing power, although an increasing volume of output was 
the rule. The price of wheat fell from $2.50 a bushel to 
sixty cents; corn from $1.50 to forty cents; and cotton from 
forty cents a pound to five or six cents. A vicious eco- 
nomic law seemed to be operating to the disadvantage of 
those who furnished the country with the essentials of life 
and to the infinite advantage of those who set up the ma- 
chinery of modern society. Westerners and Southerners 
had opposed and fought national debts, banks, and railroads 
many times during the period, but fighting separately or 
without persistence they had not eflEected any change. In 
1880 they thought to capture the machinery of the Demo- 
cratic party which had been demoralized in the Greeley 
campaign of 1872 and which had in part deserted the farmers 

•A fair picture of representative men of this class may be seen in "The Memoirs of Henry 
ViJlard," 1904.; in E. P. Oberholtzer's, "Jay Cooke, Financier of the Civil War," 1907; and in 
Miss Ida Tarbell's "History of the Standard Oil Company," 1004. 

"Henry Adams shows in "The Education of Henry Adams," Boston, 1918, what the dilem- 
ma of the intellectuals was. 


in 1870. They failed. The Republicans, appealing always 
to the great name of Lincoln and more intimately industrial 
in leadership, were beyond the hope of capture.' 

If one endeavoured to bring the Democratic party to the 
work of social reform, the cry was immediately made that 
narrow-minded Southerners and wicked rebels would ruin the 
country; if the progressive Republicans proposed child- 
labour laws or a national education bill, Southern men scented 
danger at once to their budding industrial communities or to 
that sacred shibboleth of state rights on which so many poli- 
tical battles had been fought and won. Again, if Eastern men 
like George William Curtis; proposed any reform in the civil 
service, Westerners had their serious doubts; and if Western 
men sought to replace tariff laws by income taxes, Easterners 
shrieked, "long-haired radicalism." Moreover, interests 
and prejudices were so fixed that any real move toward a 
redemocratizing of the country was likely to bring on an 
economic panic, one of the terrors of both organized capital 
and organized labour. Was there ever a more complex 

But into this complex and tangled situation William 
Jennings Bryan, son of an Illinois judge and a protege of 
Lyman Trumbull, Lincoln's friend of the Civil War period, 
plunged with all the enthusiasm of youth. Bryan was 
essentially a provincial, a farmer, a Westerner of Southern 
ancestry, a devotee of the old American ideals as expressed 
in the Declaration of Independence and as lived in farmer 
communities. Bryan not only believed in equality, he prg,c- 
tised it. And he felt the heavy pressure of the industrial 
system upon agricultural life and ideals as every other Wes- 
terner who was not a beneficiary of the system felt it. He 
was gifted with a power of direct and earnest speech un- 

"One needs only to read the reports of committees of Congress in 1912 to see the difficulties. 


paralleled in America since Patrick Henry; and he was a 
handsome man of striking appearance d,nd of extraordinary 
personal magnetism. Honesty sat upon his very counte- 
nance. He gripped simple men to him in life-long devotion. 
He had a lively part in the great anti-tariff campaign of 
1890 and went himself to Congress in that year winning in 
Washington a high place among the leaders of the Demo- 
cratic party. But Bryan was not a radical. He only lu-ged 
moderate reductions in the tariff, a very reasonable income 
tax law, and effective trust control. But he fell into ill 
favour with President Cleveland over the silver question. 
J. Sterling Morton, member of the Cleveland cabinet from 
Nebraska, became his enemy, and in 1894, when Bryan be- 
came a candidate for the United States Senate, the "admin- 
istration" Democrats of Nebraska did not aid him. He was 
defeated. He became editor of the Omaha World Herald 
and set about organizing the Democrats of the West and 
South upon the money question, an issue on which West and 
South had endeavoured to imite since 1866. His aim was 
to control the Democratic national convention which was to 
meet in Chicago on July 7, 1896. He travelled and spoke 
in every state of the Mississippi Valley and in Texas. Men 
received him with open arms. Southerners looked to him as 
to a long-promised deliverer. The yoimg and growing 
Populist party, as well as a large element of the Republicans, 
looked upon him as their leader. It speedily became plain 
that he would be a power in the convention, if not its master. 
The Cleveland Democrats of Nebraska managed to defeat 
him as a candidate for appointment as a delegate in a way 
that old politicians know so well how to apply. But the 
Bryan men sent him to Chicago as the leader of a contesting 
delegation. He and his friends defeated the national Demo- 
cratic committee in their effort to organize the convention. 


Bryan was seated in the convention and he deUvered the 
"cross of gold speech" and won the nonaiination for the pres- 
idency on the vote of an overwhelming majority of the 
delegates.! Free silver was made the major plank in the 
Democratic platform. The machinery of the party was 
taken from the control of the Eastern men, from the bosses 
who had defeated Cleveland's tariflF reform and then turned 
upon Bryan at Chicago.^ 

A campaign followed that has become famous in American 
history. The evolution which Bryan and his friends had 
tried to bring about under Cleveland was about to turn 
into a revolution like that which placed Andrew Jackson and 
his "rough necks" in charge of the coimtry in 1829. Bryan 
revived the touring method of Henry Clay, the first great 
Westerner in politics. John Hay, badly frightened, said' that 
he made the same speech a dozen times a day and attacked 
every man who wore a clean shirt. He certainly stirred the 
East as it had not been stirred since Jackson. New York 
he pronounced the "enemy's country," which was not incor- 
rect. Professor Wilson said of the movement: "do not be 
afraid, the people mean no harm; they long for a righteous 
social system."* What made Easterners so uneasy was the - 
simple, axiomatic way in which the "Boy Orator" proved 
everything to be so simple; The tariff was a system by which 
some men keep their hands in other men's pockets. The 
trusts should be abolished off-hand. The Supreme Court, 
which had descended into the political arena and annulled 
the income tax law, in which Bryan had been so much in- 

'The story is nowhere better told than in Bryan'a "First Battle," 6S, 156-67, 188-809. 
'One does well to study the preliminary struggle of the Bryan men of 1896 and compare the 
facts with those which preceded the assembling of the Republican convention of 191S. 
•William R. Thayer, "Life of John Hay," Boston, 191S, II, ISl. 
<See above. Chapter II, p. 4a. 


terested, must be reformed. It was the way Lincoln talked 
about the court; but men had forgotten that. Moreover, 
Bryan seemed to carry the Bible in his head. Its language 
was as familiar to him as it was to his admirers. He was the 
very voice of that old Americanism which went to church 
regularly and sang the hymns of the Wesleys. He was a 
political George Whitefield come to life again. It was a hard 
thing to hold the Republicans in line. Bolting Republicans 
and the Populist party nominated Bryan for the presidency. 
It looked as though nothing could stem the tide of what was 
then thought to be radicalism. It was thought for a time 
that McKinley, the Republican candidate, must take the 
field. But, although McKinley was a seasoned campaigner, 
such a dangerous step was not risked. It proved safer to 
have the railroads carry doubting voters to the home of the 
candidate. It looked like a hopeless case for the Republicans 
all summer. The South was solid beyond a peradventure. 
The West seemed to be on fire^ with enthusiasm for the new 

Frightened as they had never before been frightened, the 
industrial leaders rallied at the end of the summer about 
Marcus Alonzo Hanna. Theyfgave him carte blanche and 
money variously estimated from four to six million dollars. 
He sent out speakers; he sent out house-to-house campaigners 
with money in their pockets; he organized voters to be sent 
into doubtful districts on election day; and he raised the 
effective cry that Bryan was stirring men to class conscious- 

In such a crisis it could not be expected that the leaders 

'A naive account of it may be fciuid in J. B. Foraker's "Notes of a Busy Life," Cindimati, 
1916, and a mature view^ay be had in W. R. Thayer's ," Life of John Hay," IL 1 28-56. 

* J.A, Woodbum, "Political Parties andjParty Problems, " New York, 1914, gives a full account 
of the methods of the campaign. 


of Eastern Democratic organizations, like David B. Hill of 
New York and Arthur P. Gorman of Maryland or even Roger 
Sullivan of Illinois, would contribute anything to the success 
of such a man as Bryan. They were of the same eeonomic 
and social kind as Hanna himself. In such a case word 
only has to be passed on to the ward and county leaders 
that the chief is not interested in order to secure the success 
of an opposing party. That is what happened in many 
strategic places in 1896. This is not to say that the free 
silver remedy was the right remedy in 1896.i It is to say that 
the native stocks, the farmers and village folk of the United 
States, were unfairly prevented from taking charge of the 
government in Washington in that exciting time. 

When the wires brought the news late at night on election 
day that McKinley had been successful, a prayer of earnest 
thanksgiving went up from all the great industrial centres 
of the East while the people of the South almost wept that 
their cause was again lost. It was not a final loss. It was 
only the first of a series of contests which, as we now know, 
were to bring about a new regime, if not a definite setting of 
bounds to that industrialism which Hanna and his friends so 
ably represented. 

Bryan simply announced that it was only the first battle 
and set about perfecting and expanding his great organiza- 
tion for the next presidential election. It was a serious time. 
The country felt that the decision of 1896 was not fairly won 
and historians of eminence have said that the real purpose of 
the people was defeated in that contest. Whether this be 
true or not, the leaders who surrounded McKinley felt that 
the times were very critical. They endeavoured to meet 
the bitter opposition of their opponents by trying to bring 

>After the experiences of the recent great war few men will be found to deny the quantitative 
theory of money which was the essenoeof the Bryao campaign tor freesilver. 




about better economic conditions. Moreover, there was the 
burning question of Cuba with which both parties in Congress 
seemed ready to play. As so often happens the difficult 
and dangerous domestic situation was avoided by a plunge 
into a new foreign policy.^ The result was the Spanish war, 
the annexation of the Philippines, and a campaign in 1900 
on the question of imperialism on which Bryan was again 
defeated. But although the issue was different the forces 
behind the Administration were industrial and financial, just 
as had been the case in 1896. 

It was the day of the financiers. Trusts were organized 
over night. The Sherman anti-trust law was openly flouted. 
A policy of injunctions against labour movements was 
planned and even practised. The masters of the country 
lived in New York and operated in banks, in railway reor- 
ganizations, and in industrial combinations with scant cour- 
tesy to the Government in Washington.^ The great fortunes 
of the country were hardly taxed at all, while extremely high 
tariff duties laid the burden of government upon the con- 
sumers, that is upon the poorer elements of the population. 

The defeat of Bryan a second time weakened his hold upon 
the Democratic party so seriously that the older elements , 
took courage again. The so-called Democratic gold men 
returned to its ranks. The bosses of the East tightened their 
hold on the machines of New York, New Jersey, Indiana, and 
Illinois. The Virginia and the Missouri organizations aban- 
doned the "reformers," as indeed they had wished to do long 
before. The price of cotton rose steadily; corn and' wheat 
found better markets. Full dinner pails and ever-increasing 

'A strong motive of the Kaiser for setting the world on fire in 1914 was the dangerous situa- 
tion at home. 

•Carl Hovey, "The Me Story of 3. Pierpont Morgan," Chaps.' X and XI. A friendly view of 
the McKinley regime may be seen in Charles S. Olcott's "Life of William McKinley," Bos- 
ton, 1916. For this subject see Ch. XXIQ. 


hordes of immigrants from the south of Europe broke tHe 
morale of the great labour organizations whose leaders had all 
along wished to support the farmers. Southern manu- 
facturers began to talk protection, and Western communities 
blamed themselves that they had not "invited" business to 
live among them.^ Men seemed to think the whole country 
might resort to industrial pursuits and thus share the pros- 
perity which tariffs and other legal devices secured to the East. 
Under Eastern leadership, the Democratic party put the 
"crude and provincial" Bryan aside at St. Louis in 1904 
and set up Alton B. Parker as a leader. Thomas Taggart, 
one of the rawest of the bosses, took control of the campaign. 
Roosevelt, who had succeeded McKinley in September, 1901, 
but who insisted upon his devotion to the "great policies" 
of his predecessor, was made the Republican candidate. 
That is, both parties stood for the same thing and only kept 
up a sort of motion show of opposition. Thomas F. Ryan, 
one of the worst of the financial lords of the East, was the god- 
father of the Democratic organization; Edward H. Harriman, 
of Union Pacific fame, played the same role for the Republi- 
cans. Roosevelt made his great business patrons a little 
uneasy by talking the Bryan policies, and Parker made the 
ever-faithful common folk of the South uneasy by suggesting 
the business alliance which had made McKinley president. 
There was a feeling in the atmosphere that the leaders 
of the two great parties might "change partners" after 
the manner of country dances. The provincial West was so 
distraught that its voters actually took to Roosevelt or stayed 
at home. Parker was defeated so disastrously that Eastern 
Democratic bosses realized that all hope of victory with 
one of their kind must be abandoned. 

•The career of William B. Allison, as well as the history of Iowa, illuatrstes perfectly the 
change that took place in the minds of great numbers of men. 


Roosevelt took the reins of Government in band in the 
spring of 1905 with such a personal hand that conserva- 
tives of the McKinley type almost lost their breath. He 
undertook to remedy the ills of provincial America by endors- 
ing the Bryan reforms. He forced the packers of Chicago to 
improve their ways, although he did not touch their monop- 
oly; he compelled railroad corporations to yield their grip 
upon the coal mines of the country, although the courts 
undid this work. He threatened to enforce the Sherman 
anti-trust law. Roosevelt was a terror. He secured the 
passage of his measures by Democratic votes; and Bryan was 
reduced to the necessity of declaring that the President had 
stolen his political clothes. Still, the new leader did not 
propose to abandon the industrial groups of the country. 
He tried to moderate their demands; he undertook to ride 
two horses at the same time. And when his second term 
was about to close, he was reduced to the necessity of vio- 
lating the third-term precedent or of finding a Republican who 
could continue to ride two horses. Mr. Taft was chosen for 
the task. Taft did not even essay the r6le. He concluded 
to take the side of the McKinley battalions, then led by Sena- 
tor Aldrich and Speaker Joseph G. Cannon. The result was 
a tariff reform in 1910 which angered the country as it had 
not been angered since 1890. The palliative of a corporation 
tax of some real promise did not satisfy.^ 

When Roosevelt came back in 1910 from his sojourn 
in Africa and Europe, revolution was in the air as it had been 
in 1896. The recent spring elections in many cities showed 
that the Republican leaders were losing their grip upon the 
country. Roosevelt kept hands off the autumn elections, 
and an overwhelming Democratic majority was returned 

'An admirable account of the decade following 1907 may be found in Frederic A. Ogg's, 
"National Progress," New York, 1918. 


to the national House of Representatives. The country did 
not Uke Mr. Taft. It did like Roosevelt if one might judge 
from the reception which was given him whenever he made 
a public appearance. From 1911 to 1912 Roosevelt was 
making up his mind what he should do to save the country 
from the Democratic radicalism which seemed about to up- 
set everything. But President Taft woidd not decline a 
renomination as the ex-President seemed to think he ought 
to do. Senator La Follette undertook to organize a move- 
ment aimed at the control of the next national Republican 
convention, just as Bryan had done in the Democratic party 
in 1895-6. La Follette was quite as radical as Bryan had 
ever been and he, too, appealed to the provincials of the West 
to overthrow industrialism. 

In the face of such a menace the Eastern Republicans of the 
older order rallied to Taft and insisted upon his candidacy 
before the Chicago convention of 1912. Senators Root, 
Lodge, Penrose, and Crane made up the inner council of the 
Taft wing of the party; Mr. Barnes, the boss of New York, 
became a sort of general manager for the movement. Under 
these circumstances, Roosevelt decided to enter, into a con^ 
test with his former protege for the Republican nomination. 
He quickly snuffed out the La Follette movement and gath- 
ered about him a few very able industrial leaders like George 
W.Perkihs, DanielHanna, and Senator Oliver of Pennsylvania. 
That is, he endeavoured once again to ride two horses at the 
same time. It was hardly possible for him to do otherwise, 
for he was not a people's man, as Bryan was, or as La Follette 
wished to be. His r6le must be like that of Henry Clay, 
that' of a compromiser. He wished to have plebiscites, not 
free elections and a frank dependence upon majority de- 
cisions. He knew history too well not to recall how often 
popular majorities had been obtained for doubtful causes- 


It was said of him by at least one spokesman of big business 
that he was the only man who could ride the popular storm 
and yet do nothing. 

With Taft and Roosevelt dividing the strength of the 
Republican party and each claiming to be the successor of 
Lincoln, the Democrats had their chance. But Bryan having 
been beaten in 1908 as Parker had been in 1904, it was evident 
that the leaders of that party must find a new man, or Roose- 
velt might again sweep the country. There was no eminent 
Democrat in the West but Bryan, and no experienced Demo- 
crat in the East of any sort. The South had no chance what- 
ever, even if there had been a real leader there. Since Bryan 
was out of the question, it was "up to" the bosses of the 
East to name the candidate. Would they, like the Western 
Republican bosses of 1860, offer a Lincoln? That was not 
to be expected; yet there was Woodrow Wilson, the stone re- 
jected of the Princeton builders — the man whom destiny or 
luck had in store. How he came to be put upon the "great 
stage," as he once described the country, must now be stud- 
ied and made plain. 


THE nomination of Woodrow Wilson for the presidency 
of the United States in 1912 is one of the miracles which have 
marked the course of American history. Wilson was a com- 
posite American, born, he himself has said, of Scotch peasant 
forebears; he was a Southern man living in the heart of the 
East, but without love for the hustling, sometimes dirty, 
life of that crowded region which was about to drive him out of 
his university atmosphere; and he was in political and social 
philosophy rather more an English Liberal than an American 
Democrat. He was more a follower of Burke and' Bagehot 
than of Jefferson and Lincoln. Yet he did take sides in 
American politics. He hated the protective tariff, although 
he would not immediately abolish it; he believed that the 
Federal government stood in dire need of radical reform, yet 
he loved the Constitution and dreaded change for any but 
the gravest reasons. He was withal a man of learning, and as 
such loved the quiet ways of universities and their better 
traditions. He thought liberally but in terms of the ages 
rather than in terms of the present emergency. He was, 
moreover, an orthodox Presbyterian, a leader in the local as 
well as the national church, as befitted the head of Princeton 

How could such a man be chosen to lead one of the great 
political parties in a national campaign, and how could he 
compound with many rivals and competitors in such a race 



and then set up an harmonious cabinet for a national ad- 
ministration? The answers to these questions came quickly 
in 1912-13. A certain New York editor played a curious but 
important part in the process. 

Colonel George Harvey, editor of Harper's Weekly and 
the North American Review, both generally supposed to 
be "Morgan" periodicals, undertook to make Wilson the 
nominee of the Democratic party both in 1908 and in 1912. 
It was Harvey's especial task to interest conservative Demo- 
crats in the president of Princeton. There can be no doubt 
that he was well fitted for the undertaking. He was a wel- 
come and an influential member of the leading clubs in New 
York; he had close relations with the great figures of Ameri- 
can finance; he drove a trenchant pen and managed very im- 
portant agencies of publicity. He was close to the Morgans; 
he entertained celebrities at elaborate dinners; he was a 
shrewd judge of political leaders; and there was a sort of 
assurance about him that made people think him a power- 
ful dispenser of public honours. He essayed to play the king- 
maker's r6le. 

The editor of Harper's Weekly came into touch with 
Wilson when the latter was inaugurated president of Prince- 
ton in June, 1903. It was indeed a memorable occasion. 
Many of America's rich men were present including the elder 
Morgan. Ex-President Cleveland was a leading figure of the 
ceremony. President Harper of the then new University 
of Chicago was present. And James H. Harper of the New 
York publishing firm,"^ Laurence Hutton, Mark Twain, 
and the genial worshipper of things as they are, Richard 
Watson Gilder, also honoured the occasion with their wit 
and their hearty approval of the young university man. 
The address of Wilson won Harvey's hearty endorsement. 

•Publisher o£ Wilson's "History of the American People " and other writings. 


William Inglis, the private secretary of the editor of Harper's, 
later said that Colonel Harvey convinced liiimself that the 
author of that address could move the masses of common 
folk, and at once bethought him of the future presidency.' 

But regardless of Colonel Harvey's friendly interest, the 
new president of Princeton quickly made himself felt in semi- 
political circles. Late in November, 1904, when Eastern 
Democrats were sore at heart over the recent sad discom- 
fiture of their leader, Alton B. Parker, he spoke to the 
Virginia Society of New York in earnest and almost solenm 
warning on the subject of political affairs. He won his 
audience as few New York audiences have been won. And 
it was a distinguished audience. Men shouted their approval 
at the end; they waved handerchiefs, called for the speaker, 
until Wilson was compelled to accept the demonstration as 
something quite extraordinary in that latitude. Amongst 
other things, he declared that the party leadership was aim- 
less and even bankrupt. He made it plain that Mr. Bryan 
was not entitled, intellectually, to the immense power he 
wielded. But while Wilson was in this critical frame of 
mind, he indicated in an address to the Princeton alumni al- 
most at the same time that he was not entirely of the Eastern 
way of thinking: "America is great because of the spirit of 
her thinkers and not because of the monuments of her 

In 1906, Colonel Harvey definitely made up his mind that 
Wilson was the kind of man he should like to see president 
of the United States. In consequence, he arranged a din- 
ner at the Lotos Club of New York where he introduced 
Wilson as his candidate for the next Democratic nomination. 

^A good account of this occasion will be found in Co\lieT*a Weekly of October 7, 1916. Gildtf 
refers to it in his "Letters/' 345* giving the names of men present. 
'Brief reports of these addresses will be found in the Princeton Alumni Weeklyt paetim. 


Harvey concluded his speech with the remark that he was 
tired of voting the Republican ticket and that Wilson would 
enable decent Eastern Democrats to return to the fold. What 
the -president of Princeton really thought of the performance 
at the Lotos Club on that February evening has never been 
ascertained. Doubtless he was willing to have people 
press him for the high honour in question. Few Ameri- 
cans have ever resisted such blandishments. 

But Wilson did not change the tone of his public ut- 
terances. It was only a little later that he launched his 
greatest move at Princeton, the plan for the abolition of the 
social dubs. In less than two years he was appealing over 
the heads of trustees and resisting professors to the great un- 
learned public for the democratization of American university 
life. The appeal to the common people in such a matter 
ought to have suggested much to Colonel Harvey. And 
during the same years the social ideals of Wilson were shift- 
ing notably from those of Bagehot and Burke to those of 
Abraham Lincoln. Now, to worship at the shrine of Lincoln 
means little in American public men, for Lincoln is a tradi- 
tion. But for a historian and an American college president 
to say as Wilson did say in those critical years about 1908 
that a second Lincoln would probably be ruined if he were 
compelled to attend an American university was significant 
of change. In a widely quoted address at Chicago in 1909, 
he said in all seriousness: "God send us such men again." * 
The follower of contented British Liberalism, with the big 
L, was fast drifting toward the camp of radicalism. 

Yet Colonel Harvey continued his campaign on be- 
half of Woodrow Wilson, "predestined," as he insisted, to 
be the president of the United States. Newspaper sup- 
port in the South, the West, and in New York was organized 
in behalf of the Wilson " boom. " St. Clair McKelway of the 


Brooklyn Eagle was won and the New York World asked Har- 
vey to write its editorial in which the academic man was 
held up by that powerful sheet as the proper candidate of the 
party at the St. Louis convention in 1908. Wilson's only 
public comment upon this activity came in a quiet if some- 
what humorous interview in which he said that other politi- 
cal lightning rods were doubtless so much taller than his that 
the electricity would not be attracted to him. 

After the third Bryan defeat it became clear that Harvey's 
work would bear fruit, that Wilson or some other Eastern man 
would most likely be the party nominee in 1912. The break 
up of the Republican solidarity in 1910 made it quite likely 
that the regular Democratic candidate would be the next 
president of the country. Harvey redoubled his energy. 
Wilson doubtless began to realize that the work of 
Harper's Weekly was not a joke. Harvey might, after all, 
become a king-maker. It now became necessary to bring 
Wilson into political office, if possible. New Jersey, tired 
of her bosses and sick of being called the most corrupt of all 
the states, was beginning to bestir herself. There was a 
Republican Progressive movement led by Mr. George L. 
Record; and Joseph P. Tumulty was working with others to 
reform the Democratic party of the state. Could Harvey, 
close as he was to the great financial interests of the country, 
induce the New Jersey Democrats to nominate and elect his 
friend Wilson to the governorship? 

That was a delicate matter. Yet it must be done if 
Wilson were ever to be made president of the United States. 
The auspices were certainly bad for this rising Csesar. But 
Harvey was a dauntless man. He was a neighbour of James 
Smith, Jr., one of the worst of all the boss species of the time. 
Smith held a firm grip upon the Democratic machinery. 
But he was hated by all the Bryan Democrats and even by the 


Cleveland group. However, Smith was close to Tammany 
Hall and he was a connection of Roger Sullivan, the Demo- 
cratic boss of Illinois. Harvey asked him directly to nomi- 
nate Wilson for governor at the party convention which was 
to meet at Trenton about the middle of September, 1910. 
Smith wished to know the terms of the bond. Harvey could 
not give them. He made it plain that Wilson was not a man 
from whom stipulations could be asked. Besides, it would 
ruin him in the race for the presidential nomination in which 
Smith seems to have shown some interest. 

Harvey visited Wilson^ Wilson never said whether he 
would accept a nomination or not if offered. He was aware 
that the best Democrats of the state were bitterly hostile 
to Smith and very skeptical of Harvey. He simply said he 
was greatly interested. In the early summer of 1910, 
Harvey, finding Colonel Henry Watterson in New York 
one week-end, conceived the idea'of getting Smith, Watter- 
son, Wilson, and himself about a common table and settling 
the candidacy both for the governorship and the presidency. 
Deal, Harvey's home in New Jersey, was found to be the best 
place. Watterson agreed to a Sunday dinner with Harvey, 
only Wilson seemed little interested. He ran off on a 
slight pretext to Lyme, Connecticut. There Harvey's 
secretary found him about to go to church on that Sunday 
and induced him to get into an automobile and hasten to 
Deal, New Jersey. At the proper time the four men, Wilson, 
Harvey, Watterson, and Smith, sat down to dinner. Wilson 
knew well that he was playing with fire. He did, however, 
agree to accept the nomination for governor if it could be 
offered him without any promises. The stars were shap- 
ing their course to future events. That summer Smith " lined 
up" the delegates to the Democratic convention in the way 
American bosses usually do when great matters are afoot. 


Wilson met Harvey once or twice meanwhile. They 
talked over the proposed platform, it seems, in Boston 
and elsewhere. It was understood that Smith might ex- 
ert his influence in the coming campaign but that he was 
not to attempt to become a candidate for any office, particu- 
larly that of United States senator, a position he had dis- 
graced during the second Cleveland administration, from the 
Wilson point of view. The time for the assembling of the 
Democratic convention approached, however, without either 
Harvey or Smith being definitely assured what Wilson would 
do. From all the evidence I have been able to gather, the 
president of Princeton kept a masterly silence and never 
absolutely committed himself to anything except that he 
would accept a nomination if offered and that Smith's ambi- 
tion to return to the Senate was not to be suffered to embar- 
rass the progressive Democratic movement.' 

When the convention was ready to vote on the nomination 
for the governorship Wilson's name was duly proposed by a 
representative of the machine. It was a unique situation. 
Smith and Harvey were in the convention. There was strong 
opposition to Wilson among the more independent elements 
of the party. Wilson was at his home at Princeton. But the 
nomination was offered in accordance with the wishes of 
Smith and Harvey. Wilson was brought from his home as 
quickly as possible. When he appeared there was doubt 
among many of the delegates whether they had not committed 
themselves in that critical year to a reactionary willing to 
wear the collar of Wall Street. 

At a dramatic moment Wilson said: "I did not seek this 
nomination. I have made no pledges and have given no 
promise. If elected, as I expect to be, I am left free to serve 

^Tbe whole story is well told, although as unfavourably to Wilson as permissiblet iu Col' 
lier't Weekly, October 7-iI, 1918. 


you with all singleness of purpose. It is a new era when these 
things can be said." The defeated progressive group of the 
convention yielded their doubts when the speech of accept- 
ance was finished. The very tone and ring of Wilson's words 
convinced them that they, and not the bosses^ had won that 
strate^c contest. 

Little time was lost on the part of the new political leader. 
Wilson promptly resigned the presidency of the University and 
began his campaign for the governorship. It was one of the 
notable canvasses in recent American history and as import- 
ant, in many respects, as were the Lincoln-Douglas debates 
of 1858. New Jersey had been awakened to her lost estate. 
Wilson's nomination by such men as Smith and Harvey was 
proof of the fact, and the new candidate was well aware of 
what was expected of him. He knew his speeches would be 
read all over the East, and that his administration of New 
Jersey's affairs, in the event of his election, would be the 
testing by which the people of the country would determine 
whether he might be elevated to the presidency. Wilson 
rose to the occasion. He was indeed, as we already know,; 
the best equipped man who had ever been nominated fori 
the governorship of one of the states. He had long been a 
Liberal and he was already under the stimulus of the new 
times becoming a radical, a democrat. His speeches were of 
the very best. Wherever he went he was successful in con- 
vincing common men that he was their spokesman. Thou- 
sands of commuters who travelled daily the trains from New 
Jersey into New York City became his ardent advocates. 

When the campaign advanced a little, Mr. George L. 
Record, representative of the Republican insurgents of that 
year, put nineteen searching queries to Wilson — designed 
to test the sincerity of the Democratic leader. Wilson 
answered all with the utmost frankness and added the 


answer to a twentieth query which was that, if elected 
governor, he would consider himself forever disgraced if he 
"should in the slightest degree cooperate in any such system 
or any such transactions as the boss system describes." 

It was indeed a curious situation. Smith, Nugent, and 
Davis, the Democratic machine leaders, had long cooperated 
with Baird, Stokes, and Kean, the Republican machine men, 
in the practical politics of New Jersey. Wilson owed his 
nomination to the former group. It had been the hope of 
these men, in the troublous times ahead, to place a liberal 
academic man in the governorship and then in the presi- 
dency, trusting to his mere academic character and political 
inexperience to make him either too timid or too conservative 
for the real work of reform. The Republicans relied upon 
their Democratic allies in underground government to save 
the day in the event that they lost control. All knew that 
iiL 1910 it was necessary for the bosses to put up a candidate 
who had a reputation for reform and high character. Wilson 
"had shown both traits. He was as necessary to Smith as to 

Record's questions gave Wilson the very opportunity he 
was seeking. He announced to the people of New Jersey 
that he would never submit himself on any public mat- 
ter to either Democratic or Republican machine for ap- 
proval. What Colonel Harvey and his greater business 
friends in Wall Street thought of this new politician whom 
they had set up for president of the United States has not yet 
been made public. But the older party men of New Jersey 
were distressed beyond the power of speech. They doubtless . 
said among themselves what Richard Croker, the former 
Tammany Hall chief, said of Wilson in the public press : "An 
ingrate is no good in politics." 

Was Woodrow Wilson an ingrate? He had all his life 


condemned the American boss system. He knew perfectly 
well that most intelligent people felt that their government 
was no longer a democratic government. He knew that the 
methods by which the exploiters of the public ruled were such 
as could not endure publicity. Few public men had, how- 
ever, felt strong enough to make and continue war upon the 
bosses and their methods. Had not Cleveland been ruined 
by a few party bosses in the Senate? Was not President 
Taf t then paying the terrible price of having once allowed the 
Republican machine forces to take' charge of the proposed 
tariff reform? Wilson simply declared independence. The 
declaration made him governor. And few will deny that it 
was a long step toward the presidency. 

Wilson's election to the governorship was one of the 
bright promises of the year 1910. Real Democrats all over 
the country took notice. His plurality was 49,000 from an 
electorate which two years before had given President Taft 
a plurality of 82,000. It seemed that even a "rock-ribbed" 
Eastern state could be won for democracy if good men could 
ever get nominations. But the surprising result did not stun 
James Smith and his friends. They undertook to persuade 
George Harvey to secure from Wilson his approval for Smith 
to appear before the incoming legislature as a candidate for 
the United States Senate! Harvey is reported ^ to have 
whistled. Even Harvey knew that a governor of New Jersey 
who smoothed the way to the Senate for such a man as 
Smith could not win the nomination from the next Demo- 
cra,tic national convention. 

But Smith insisted upon a fight for the Senate. The new 
governor quietly assumed leadership for the party and made 
it plain that neither Smith nor any of the machine leaders of 

» William Inglis in Collier' a Weekly, October 21st, says that Harvey refused to make the 
request of Wilson. 


New Jersey could have any disproportionate influence in the 
choice of a new senator or in the shaping of the policy of the 
Democratic party. When Smith insisted upon his right to 
be a candidate before the legislature which he thought he had 
himself caused to be elected, Governor-elect Wilson warned 
him that there had been a definite understanding to the con- 
trary, as expressed in a Democratic primary, and added that 
Smith must publicly announce that he would not be a can- 
didate. ^ This the irate boss refused to do. A sharp canvass 
of the state ensued in which Wilson made it plain that the 
election of Smith would be a surrender to the evil forces of 
New Jersey life and that it would break the faith of com- 
mon fplk in the sincerity of the new movement. When the 
legislature voted. Smith received only four votes. 

Of equal importance in those first critical days of Governor 
Wilson's career was the definite assumption of leadership 
not only for the party majority in New Jersey, but for the 
state as a whole. During the preceding campaign Wilson 
announced that, if elected, he would consider himself the 
"political spokesman and advisor of the people" and that if 
men did not care to have their governor act as the responsible 
head of the people they had best vote against him. That was 
to apply his great principle of responsible leadership to 
American affairs, a principle which he had outlined and 
emphasized in "Congressional Government," his first book 
published some twenty -five years before. At another time 
in American history a governor who thus boldly assumed a 
position not provided by his state constitution must have 
been very sharply attacked. Not so in New Jersey in 1911. 
The invisible government of American commonwealths by 

^The Smith candidacy is carefully treated in Professor Henry Jones Ford's *'Woodrow 
Wilson," 13S; and in William Bayard Hale's "Woodrow Wilson," 178-184. 


interested people had gone so far that men were ready every- 
where to try new experiments. 

Governor Wilson was himself a new experiment, the ex- 
periment of choosing the foremost political scientist in the 
country to administer a sore, bedraggled commonwealth. 
But Wilson was no extremist. In his first inaugural he said : 
"It is not the foolish ardour of too sanguine or too radical 
reform that I urge upon you. ... I merely point out 
the present business of progress and serviceable government, 
the next stage on the journey of duty." But the journey of 
progress was just the way that old legislators did not wish to 
go. The majority of the legislature was supposed to be 
Democratic and in sympathy with the governor. They were 
not. The majority of the senate was Republican and re- 
actionary, a remnantof the old New Jersey Republicanism led 
by the Republican bosses. The house was Democratic, but 
a large number of these Democrats were followers of James 
Smith and sore over the defeat of their master. It was a 
mixed situation, such as American methods usually supply 
whenever forward movements are under way. "i 

At the centre of this legislative situation stood James R. 
Nugent, the acting head of the Democratic organization of 
which Smith was the real and absentee head. He proposed to 
organize the Republican senate and the Democratic machine 
element against the "ingrate" governor and defeat every 
effective move that was made. There were four vital changes 
in the laws of New Jersey which Wilson must press or 
he could not think of himself as serving any useful pur- 
pose. These were the election reform, the employers' li- 
ability, the public utilities, and the corrupt practices bills, 
all of which embodied reforms of far-reaching consequences. 
They were the very essence of the whole movement then 
known as progressive. If applied successfully. New Jersey 


would become one of the free states of the Union. Of course 
all the interested parties rallied to their respective sides. 
The governor was the one and only promise of success to 
those who had long combated the boss system. James R. 
Nugent became the leader of both Republican and Demo- 
cratic reactionaries. The decision upon these issues would 
practically determine Wilson's success as governor. 

Mr. Nugent asked for a Democratic legislative confer- 
ence on causes in which the party attitude should be deter- - 
mined. The promises of the recent campaigii were thus to be 
interpreted by the leaders. This conference was called for 
March 8, 1911. Wilson indicated that he would like to 
attend. It was an unprecedented wish. Without pressing 
the question of his right to do so, the leaders assented. It 
was with much anxiety that they yielded. Wilson appeared 
at the appointed time and place and became at once the 
leader of the conference. He presented his ideas and argued 
his case in a way that broke down the opposition. The 
conference that was designed to defeat his whole pro- 
gramme adjourned with a hearty endorsement of his lead- 
ership. Nugent and Smith were completely discomfited 
and the new leadership was triumphant. From that time 
Governor Wilson was the unquestioned spokesman of 
New Jersey, a sort of political miracle in an old, boss- 
ridden community. The new Eastern leader was a national 

Of the details of the administration of New Jersey by 
Woodrow Wilson there is little space here to speak. Within 
two years from the day the new "academic" governor took 
office at Trenton, the laws of the commun^y were so re-made 
that reformers everywhere studied them a^ models for other 
states. Wilson did not achieve all he w^hed, for the Re- 
publicans regained control of the legislati^in 1912 and made 


aXpoint, during the second year of his administration, to 
thwart and limit him as much as possible in order to detract 
from him as a candidate of their opponents for the presidency. 
Their success was small. Wilson made his principle too 
clear for any to misunderstand: a governor or president was 
and must be the leader of his party and his country during" 
his term of oflSce. If he went wrong, he could be repu- 
diated in the next election. If his opponents refused to 
support him in a given controversy or upon a vital policy, 
he must go to the people and explain his purposes. If public 
opinion was outspoken and articulate, they must yield or 
suffer his measures to prevail till a test could be made. It 
was responsible leadership, similar to that which has been 
so long practised in England. But since elections are for 
definite terms in the United States, men must be guided by 
the expressions of opinion, informally given; or simply bide 
their time, if in opposition, till an election comes. The 
principle as applied by Wilson involves a very great ability 
for testing the pubUc will. The leader of this new American 
type must study and know men as only a few Americans have 
studied and known men. Wilson would be a second Jeffer- 
son, or better, perhaps, a second Lincoln. 

With all the world looking on and applauding, with 
Roosevelt breaking the Repubhcan party into halves, the 
astute men in New York who had set Wilson up were con- 
siderably disturbed what to do with their leader. If Bryan 
and his Western "extremists" were to be put aside with 
a worse than Bryan, what profit would it be to them.'' This 
was the dilemma of George Harvey. He was, moreover, fast 
being deserted by the very men who had helped him nomi- 
nate Wilson. It was only natural. The East wished to de- 
feat the so-called radicalism of the Western wing of the 
Democracy. It could only do so with a progressive leader; 


but a progressive leader of the East could not stop at any 
half-way house, as Wilson had shown. Harvey continued 
his advocacy through the year 1911. He published editorials 
in Harper's Weekly. He interested editors of Southern 
papers. He made speeches about the "political predestina- 
tion " of Woodrow Wilson. He even endeavoured to win Mr. 
Bryan to the support of Wilson.' His last appeal for the 
Governor of New Jersey appeared in The Independent, De- 
cember, 1911. It was rather a pathetic case, that of the 
ardent president-maker at the end of that year. Colonel 
Harvey was an earnest champion of the capitalistic forces. 
He was wise enough to see that a Liberal conservative was the 
only leader who could long preserve capitalism as then set up. 
Wilson had seemed to him the only hope of conservatism. 
But Wilson was a man who grew constantly as he saw the 
great contest open before him. He was a conservative, but 
an able, honest leader who realized, as few other Eastern 
men could possibly realize anything, that the people of 
the United States would not long endure the kind of capi- 
talism which had broken President Taft. Those last years 
at Princeton had shown him much. Every day in the gov- 
ernorship of New Jersey showed him the only road an honest 
leader could take. 

The break with Harvey and his friends had to come. 
Somehow an invitation of Harvey to Governor Wilson to 
meet for a conference at the home of the former at Deal, 
where Wilson, Harvey, Watterson, and Smith had met that 
summer evening in 1910, was declined. Harvey felt in- 
stinctively that the Governor was no longer simply his can- 
didate. Wilson knew that nominations to office were 
affairs of the people and not of groups of personal friends. 
On December 7th, the two met in a New York club in the 

'William Inglis in Collier's Weekly, October 81, 1916. 


presence of mutual friends and Governor Wilson was asked 
directly if the activity of Colonel Harvey was thought to be 
harmful. The reply was in the affirmative and the re- 
lations of the two men ceased from that day. 

But Wilson was already far past the stage in his develop- 
ment as a leader when he could be called simply a candidate 
for the presidency. A great national stock-taking was in 
process that winter. Wilson was everywhere counted as an 
asset or as a liability. University men were recounting his 
struggles in behalf of a more democratic university life. 
Business men, not caught in the drift of anti-social com- 
binations, hoped from him a leadership which might emanci- 
pate common folk from the overgrown businesses that made 
men into machines and tended to force American life into 
a new feudalism as deadening as ever was that of half a thou- 
sand years before. Farmers of the South and West, repre- 
sentatives of that older America that was Protestant and 
orthodox, looked hopefully to the Presbyterian elder who was 
making New Jersey a better commonwealth. 

Calls came to him from Wisconsin where Republicans 
were fast becoming progressives, from Texas where the old 
Democracy was almost democratic, from the nearer West, the 
old state of Pennsylvania, and even from New England to 
visit them and make evidence of the faith that was in him. 
Wilson could hardly find time to be governor of New Jersey 
for the pressing calls of other groups of people who hoped that 
a really wise man of the East had arisen. He was the hope 
of so many forward-looking men that he could not for a mo- 
ment allow personal relations with Eastern friends to deaden 
that greater influence which society had given him. 

But there were other leaders of the Democratic party. 
Champ Clark, an old Bryan lieutenant. Speaker of the 
national House of Representatives; Governor Harmon, a 


member of the second Cleveland cabinet; and Oscar Under- 
wood, author of the proposed Democratic tariff of 1912, which 
was to take the place of the Payne-Aldrich tariff that had 
tried Mr. Taft so sorely. These were all men of national 
prominence. They were of the older class of public men 
who had not seen that "handwriting on the wall" which 
Wilson had made Harvey see. They still spoke the lan- 
guage of Cleveland's day and expected the nomination to the 
presidency from the Democratic party upon the give-and- 
take plan so common to men who have lived long in the at- 
mosphere of Washington. Not one of them had studied the 
science of government; hardly one of them knew more of 
American history than one gets from experience and ob- 
servation.' In such a group Wilson was easily the master. 
One man only gave both Wilson and the group of old- 
fashioned men who were his competitors serious thought. 
That man was Mr. Bryan, the leader of three national cam- 
paigns. What would Bryan do ? 

Before the primary struggle of that year drew to a close 
Clark, Harmon, and Underwood were understood to have 
permitted an agreement among their lieutenants, whereby 
their interests were to be pooled as against Wilson who was 
very popular with the people. It was a tangled situation. 
Harmon's influence was strong in the North among Bourbons 
of every party. In the South his cause was urged by Joseph 
W. Bailey of Texas, who for the moment controlled the party 
machinery of that state. Clark might have been a pro- 
gressive leader, but he had become the choice and candidate 
of the Missouri machine of which Senators Stone and Reed 
and David R. Francis, a former member of the Cleveland 
cabinet, were the managers. Clark's principal manager in 

"Brief accounts of this campaign will be found in F. L. Faxson's "The New Nation," Boston 
191S, 333-38; and in F. A. Ogg's "National Progress," 197-207. 


Virginia and the upper South was Senator Martin, closely 
affiliated with Thomas F. Ryan, the New York capitalist. 
And Bailey was close to both the Missouri and the Virginia 
machines. Hence neither Clark nor Harmon could stray far 
from the old conservative path. 

Representative Underwood had the strongest hold upon 
the lower South, even dividing Georgia with Wilson, and 
aligning himself there with the reactionary wings of the 
Democratic party led by ex-Governor Brown of Georgia and 
Senator Bankhead of Alabama. Harmon, Clark, and Under- 
wood held the strongholds of the South, the citadel of the 
Democratic party. Only through the management and faith 
of two men did Wilson get any substantial official party sup- 
port in that broad region where he was surely the most popular 
of all the candidates." These two men were Colonel Edward 
M. House and Josephus Daniels. House had sometimes 
been a prominent factor in Texas, and Daniels had been a 
powerful editor and supporter of Bryan in North Carolina. 
Now the people of those states were then, and remain, rather 
more democratic than those of the other Southern states. 
Through good or evil fortune they had loved William J. 
Bryan and what is more important they had voted for 

Colonel House, who spent a great deal of his time in New 
York, understood that Wilson could never break the power of 
machine politics in the South so long as Colonel Harvey was 
his chief sponsor. He was perhaps the first to build a pass- 
able bridge between the Presbyterian elder of Princeton and 
the Presbyterian elder of Lincoln, Nebraska. If Wilson 
crossed that bridge, he would not only further the cause of 
democracy as he professed it; he would begin to foil the 
machinations of his rivals in the South. Although neither 
Wilson went all the way to Lincoln nor Bryan all the way to 


Trenton, the friends of the two men all over the South united. 
House won away from Bailey the Texas delegation to the 
famous Baltimore convention. And the Texas delegation 
was the strongest nucleus of Wilson support in the Baltimore 
convention from the first to the last day of itsstormy sessions.^ 

In similar manner Josephus Daniels won and held the 
North Caroliaa politicians to the Wilson flag and made 
constant inroads upon the official opinion of Virginia and 
South Carolina, which last came over wholly to the same 
cause before the struggle reached its critical stage. Wilson 
was born in Virginia. Ordinarily that fact would have won 
him some support from the politicians of the state; but at 
that time the Old Dominion was under the sinister influence 
of Thomas F. Ryan who could never endure the sight of a 
progressive in any party. Virginia resisted Wilson to the last 
and seemed to be proud of her apparent alliance with Tam- 
many Hall, although two or three of her delegates to the 
Baltimore convention revolted against the Martin-Ryan 
influence. But Texas and the two Carolinas made a con- 
siderable element of the South. In the East, Wilson had a 
following in New England; he readily won the Pennsylvania 
delegation; and, after the final defeat of the Smith machine, 
he might have had the support of the New Jersey politicians 
for the asking. That made a respectable showing. But as the 
next Democratic convention would be organized it would 
take more than six hundred of a total thousand delegates to 
nominate him. He did not have hopes of more than half that 
number in the early days of 1912. 

It was now that Colonel Harvey turned quickly upon his 
formerly "predestined Woodrow Wilson" and endeavoured 

lA carefu] reading of events of "The Real Colonel Honse,'' by Howden Smith, New Yorkt 
1918, and conversations with some of the men who led the Wilson campaign are the supporti 
for these paragraphs. 


to win for Clark two thirds of the convention before it 
gathered. It required two thirds to nominate according to 
the custom of seventy years. Harvey made almost as strong 
a campaign for Clark as he had formerly made for Wilson. 
Tammany Hall, James Smith Jr., and Roger Sullivan were all 
enthusiastic for the man from Missouri. At the very 
moment when the friends of Wilson were about to bring 
Bryan and Wilson together, Adrian H. Joline, a former 
trustee of Princeton University and a bitter opponent, as we 
already know, published a letter of 1907 in which Wilson had 
expressed the hope that "somehow we may knock Mr. 
Bryan into a cocked hat." From the context of the letter it 
was clear that the president of Princeton then thought Bryan 
a doubtful asset both to the party and to the country. ^ 

The letter appeared a day or two before the leaders of the 
Democratic party were to gather at a widely advertised 
public dinner in Washington and discuss their programme. 
Both Bryan and Wilson were to be present. Would the two 
men make a scene? Josephus Daniels met Bryan on the 
train coming from Florida and prepared the way for a 
friendly meeting. At the dinner nothing happened, except 
that Bryan put his arm about Wilson's shoulders in the pres- 
ence of the newspaper men and the assembled leaders of 
the party. The mischief that might have wrecked one of the 
greatest programmes of American history fell harmless to the 
ground. There was, however, no alliance between Wilson, 
the only progressive Democrat of the campaign, and Bryan, 
the one prominent leader who was not a candidate. Both 
Bryan and his closest Western friends kept their counsels 
till the very day of the gathering in Baltimore. They saw 
clearly enough that Harmon and Clark and Underwood 

lA copy of the letter will be found in "The Beal Colonel House, *' by Artbiw Howden Smith, 
p. 100. 


were the favourites of the bosses, that is, of the great interests, 
but former personal relations and the exigencies of politics 
seemed to require silence. 

The great silent masses of the people, in so far as these can 
stop their ploughs and their hammers to thuik, were watching 
the strange developments. It was indeed a situation fast 
getting beyond the powers of the men who generally "fix 
things" in our life. Clark, a mere boy in the great complex 
of American life, had a majority of the delegations to the 
convention. But Underwood and Harmon held each a 
sufficient block of votes to deny Clark the nomination on the 
first ballot. Either of them might have withdrawn if they 
had not known that Wilson, and not Clark, would have been 
the beneficiary of such a move. Although Harmon, Clark, 
and Underwood all stood for exactly the same thing, not one 
of them could move without definitely surrendering the 
nomination to the one man whom all feared. Under these 
circumstances. Colonel Harvey, thinking to tip the balances 
at last in favour of Clark and reaction, published in his 
Weekly, a few days before the convention assembled, a great 
black-and-white map of the country showing almost two 
thirds of the districts committed to the nomination of Clark. 
The former friend thought he had his sweet revenge for the 
plain talk of the preceding December. It was another Joline 

But the "predestination of Woodrow Wilson" seemed to 
be past defeat. The passions of men as well as the im- 
ponderables of politics, played in his favour. The great 
Republican convention met in Chicago about the middle of 
June. The national executive committee of the party 
gathered a week beforehand, as the Democratic committee 

'See issue of June ii, 1919; Harper's Weekly durmg the winter and spring of 19118 shouldju 
read by every student of the period. 


had done in 1896,i to overrule the will of the majority of the 
membership of the party who wished the renomination of 
Roosevelt. Roosevelt, Hke the Bryan of 1896, had canvassed 
the country and apparently won a majority of delegates; only 
in 1912 it was called a primary campaign whereas in 1896 it 
was a radical movement which could not be suppressed and 
which was conducted in extra-legal form. The Republican 
national committee ruthlessly unseated Roosevelt delegates 
in favour of contesting Taf t delegates as the Democratic com- 
mittee had done with Bryan delegates sixteen years before. 
When the convention assembled it was safely "Taft" and 
in charge of Messrs. Root, Crane, Barnes, and Lodge. The 
bosses would have their way and take no chances with any 
doubtfid tactics. 

The anger of Roosevelt rose to the n*^ power. Break- 
ing all precedents, he journeyed to Chicago; denounced the 
national committee as having stolen the votes of the conven- 
tion, and his former friend, Taft, as the receiver of stolen 
property.^ The country was excited and angry. The head- 
lines of the newspapers everywhere carried the news from 
Chicago in true war-time style. Colonel Harvesy was in the 
Chicago convention and wrote to his Weekly attacks upon 
Roosevelt that descended to the level of diatribes. Mr. 
Bryan was also in the Chicago convention reporting the 
Republican quarrel to a syndicate of papers in true reporter's 
style, without indicating his inward glee that the great rival 
party of forty years' successful history was going to pieces. 
Colonel House, now Wilson's closest adviser, declared that 
Roosevelt was his best aid in the coming Baltimore gathering. 
The outcome at Chicago was a complete rupture of the party. 

•Ante pp. 92-93. 

'A series of articles in the Wvrld'i Work duriq^ tbe summer of 1919 shows well the Booaevelt 
conduct and point of view. 


Taft was the nominee, but Roosevelt announced that there 
would be another convention which meant his own nomina- 
tion as the head of a new or progressive movement. The 
Democrats would nominate the next president, just as the 
Republicans had been sure of doing when they had put for- 
ward Lincoln at Chicago in 1860, after a similar break-up of 
the old Democratic party of Southern domination. 

The Democrats gathered in Baltimore on June 25th. The 
national committee was reactionary. It set up Alton B. 
Parker, a Tammany Hall man, for temporary chairman. 
The move was intended to make Clark the nominee. It was 
plain to the country that the Dempcratic bosses intended to 
do in Baltimore what the Republican bosses had done in 
Chicago. The people of the country became more angry 
than they had been during the contest in Chicago. There 
had not been so much excitement in a preliminary presiden- 
tial campaign since 1860. There was not so much excite- 
ment even then. Bryan entered the Baltimore convention 
as a sort of St. George going out to fight the dragon, and with 
the hearty support of the people of all parties who sent him 
scores of thousands of telegrams urging him to do his utmost. 
The presence of Thomas F. Ryan, as a delegate from Vir-) 
ginia, was ominous. Bryan, with the enthusiastic support of 
the country, defeated the machine forces, and the permanent 
organization of the convention showed the friends of Wilson 
to be in charge, although their instructions from local con- 
ventions still bound many of them to Clark or Harmon or 

The early ballots proved that the fight was between Clark 
and Wilson. Upon every roll call, Tammany Hall cast the 
solid vote of New York for Harmon. When, after many 
weary repetitions of the count, Bryan offered resolutions op- 
posing any candidate who received the support of the 


"privilege-hunting class" and demanding the expulsion of 
Ryan and his group from the convention, there was pan- 
demonium in the hall. But the vote upon the resolutions 
showed the temper of the delegates. The nomination of 
Clark was thenceforward hopeless. Bryan's rdle as an ex- 
ponent of outraged public opinion and as a master of great 
conventions was superbly played. The whole nation warmed 
to him, although it was clear that the country did not wish 
him to be the nominee of the Democrats. When he gave his 
influence finally and openly to Wilson the struggle was closed. 
Wilson received the necessary two-thirds vote and was pro- 
claimed the candidate. 

The forward-looking element of the party had won. 
Messrs Bryan, House, who was, however, not in Baltimore, 
Josephus Daniels, and young William F. McCombs had won 
the esteem of the people. The old party of Jefferson and 
Jackson and of the campaign of 1896 was still in existence. 
Its leader stood, in spite of party names, in the place where 
events put Lincoln in 1860. Would Wilson, the professor 
and the modei^ate Liberal of other days, rise to the great oc- 

The people of the country were not certain. Many fine 
spirits of every section did not think so. History and sec- 
tional bias and family pride blinded them to the facts. It 
was then, as now, a hard thing for the representative of an 
old Northern family to vote with the party of the solid South, 
the party which John Hay so unjustly denounced as beneath 
contempt in 1900. These good people, disgusted with the 
conduct of their regular party leaders, turned to Colonel 
Roosevelt who made an evangelical campaign, though not 
himself permeated with the true social gospel. Wilson was 
the beneficiary of the Roosevelt movement. He was elected, 
like Lincoln in 1860 and Jefferson in 1800, because of the split 



in the opposing party. But he received only 42 per cent, 
of the vote of the country, although his electoral vote was 
overwhelming.! Wilson did not reveal himself fully during 
the campaign. His speeches showed a thoughtful, cautious 
mind, not sure how far his countrymen wished to go. Roose- 
velt seemed to be the real radical. Was Wilson to revert to 
the "safe and sane" ways of Cleveland or did he really under- 
stand? Those are questions which his measures, not his 
speeches, must show. At any rate, a new man was about to 
become president. 

>0gg, "National Progrus," pp. 198-208. 


THERE was indeed a new man in the White House in 
March, 1913. There was need of a new man. The country 
had been under agitation since 1893. But during the whole 
Taft presidency the public excitement had been intense. 
The Lorimer scandal of 19 10-1 1 was followed closely by an ex- 
pos^ of the mismanagement of the Department of the Interior. 
The methods of the tariff legislation of the same session of 
Congress were hardly less oflFensive to large elements of the 
country. And in 1912 a series of investigations of former 
election campaigns showed the utmost cynicism on the part 
of party leaders and great business men^ in regard to the re- 
lations of men of wealth to the officers of government. On 
the very eve of President Wilson's inauguration, the Pugo 
committee of the House of Representatives showed how 
nearly a few great bankers of New York controlled the credit 
operations of the nation. 

Men were everywhere intensely anxious about the growing 
power of corporations and individual capitalists over the 
common life of the people. The railroads, with their in- 
timate connections with all business affairs, were under the 
guidance of a few bankers in New York City; all the greater 
steamship lines to foreign countries were similarly directed 
from New York or London; one third of the bank deposits 

^Testimony of ex-President Roosevelt and others before committeea of Congress in 1912 
made this perfectly plain. 



of the United States was likewise under the same control, 
while five sixths of all the bank deposits of the country were 
lodged in the cities of the industrial district; the steel busi- 
ness, the cotton and woollen manufacturers, and practically 
all of the vast oil properties of the continent received orders 
from New York overlords. Every great business organiza- 
tion, Uke the American Bankers' Association or the Anthra- 
cite Coal Carriers, had its head; while all the better-organized 
undertakings, uniting with the various chambers of com- 
merce of all the cities, had just formed a United States Cham- 
ber of Commerce, the better to guide and regulate business 
of every sort and bring pressure to bear upon government. 

Mr. WUson himself said during the campaign of 1912 
that "a comparatively small number of men control the raw 
material, the water-power, the railroads, the larger credits 
of the country and, by agreements handed around among 
themselves, they control prices."^ There was nowhere else 
in the world such a powerful industrial and financial group. 
William II of Germany was not so much more powerful 
than J. P. Morgan of New York. And everywhere in 
the world business men and governments respected, even 
feared, the leaders of American industrial life. 

Smaller folk in the United States had long been accustomed 
to a similar respect or fear. Whether village bankers wished 
or not, they kept balances in New York. Southern cotton 
brokers and Western buyers of pigs instinctively knew the 
value of a fair name in Wall Street. Men might not like the 
regime, but they knew that American business had far out- 
stripped all other business in the world. Any limiting of its 
influence or breaking of its. power they feared as an ancient 
liege man feared an attack upon his lord. Not only village 
and city business folk feared the powers that could make or 

"Woodrow Wilson, "The New Freedom," New York, 188. 


unmake men at will, successful lawyers who filled the in- 
dustrial centres held a like view. They did not practise 
before petit juries. They drew contracts and argued before 
legislatures; they advised powerful clients how far they might 
go in their contempt of law, and they sought safe investment 
for retired millionaires. They, too, waited upon business. 

Of course the universities were measurably free. But 
they were free only in the sense that Southern colleges 
were free in 1860 to explain facts contrary to the wishes of 
the owners of slaves, free to teach unwelcomed truth and 
take the consequences. Science was the very mother 
of industry, the instructress of modern materialism, and 
her votaries were welcome co-workers in the business world. 
In the rarest instances did the universities encourage men to 
indulge in criticism of things as they were. Nor was it 
diflFerent with the clergy. Henry Ward Beecher and Theo- 
dore Parker had no successors in the churches of the industrial 
centres of the North. Only the obscure, and perhaps Dr. 
Washington Gladden and Shailer Mathews among the emi- 
nent, thought of playing the role of Nathan, the prophet. 
Nothing succeeds like success. 

And where such amazing success as all the Northern 
states of the American Union had known since 1866 pre- 
vailed how was university or church protest to be effective? 
The older elements of the life of the East, the Middle States, 
and the Near West, had grown rich, had made themselves 
comfortable homes with baths in them; they carried their 
coupons to the banks for collection and contented themselves 
with the good things that came in consequence. They were 
still Protestant in religion but not Puritan; they gave liberally 
to the work of Church or charities, but did not wish to hear 
too many sermons or to be bothered with vital reforms. 
Back Bay pr Euclid Avenue or the Northshore Drive was 


good enough for them and indeed these were clean and de- 
lightful places, just the kind of places where children should 
play. But these good descendants of Puritan New England 
did not have many children. Children gave too much trouble. 
The dominant element of the industrial North was in fact al- 
ready decadent and there was instant need of a new gospel, 
if men only knew it. 

But they did not know it. In the vast tenement districts of 
New York and Chicago there swarmed millions of dirty chil- 
dren and women, the families of the foreign-born workers in 
mills. Their streets were filthy and their houses grimy. 
Germans, Italians, Greeks, and Slavs, ignorant alike of the 
English language and of American institutions, made the 
basis upon which the industrial prosperity of the United States 
depended. They did the heavy work of American industry. 
More skilled men — native, foreign, or sons of foreigners — did 
the higher grades of work and organized to protect themselves 
against the cheaper labour of their unfortunate brethren. 
But organized Labour was never successful in its struggles 
with employers so long as five hundred thousand immi- 
grants arrived each year.^ 

This vast mass of poor folk, the foreign- and the native- 
born, made a North that was complex. How could a de- 
clining native American stock long maintain its control over 
these multiplying hordes that had never heard of birth control 
or race suicide? The first agency was the Catholic Church, 
to which most of them owed allegiance. In the land of 
Puritanism, Catholic priests said masses and Catholic pre- 
lates held sway quite as sovereign as the best of governors.^ 

■Wages were indeed increased and maintained at a high level in comparison with wages in 
Europe; but the increase was promptly added to the prices of commodities and the community 
as a whole bore the burden. 

^It is not many years since an archbishop of Boston refused to take second place at a dinner 
where the Governor of Massachusetts had the seat of honour. 


reat church dignitaries are always social safety valves, 
welve or fifteen million Catholics do not make a controlling 
rce in a region like the North if other religious organizations 
)ld strongly to their faiths. Only other denominations 
d not hold firmly to their faiths. 

Thus the industrial region with its annual income of fifteen 
Uions a year and its millions of poor and often unemployed 
en was within itself a social and economic problem when 
^Ison entered the White House, against the utmost protest 
nearly all the wealthy people in the country. The region 
greatest opposition contained the very rich, the well-to-do, 
id the vast numbers of undigested foreigners. Its religion 
as of a highly benevolent kind, giving money to every good 
luse, but not professing any very vital gospel. The strong- 
t element in it was the Catholic Church and even strenuous 
•esidents, like Mr. Roosevelt, concerned themselves to have 
)od Republican prelates made cardinals. It was the prob- 
m of politics to keep this unstable society in repose. 
This problem lent an increasing power to the modem boss. 

1 New England, the Middle States, and the Middle West, 
tese important representatives of American life reached in 
>12 their highest development. One thinks of Messrs. 
rane of Massachusetts, Murphy of New York City, Pen- 
ise of Pennsylvania, and Sullivan of Illinois. Whether 
epublican or Democratic, it was their business to help 
isiness men control legislatures, secure good judges for 
le courts, obtain franchises for city utilities, keep watch over 
hour movements, and block the way to success of upstart 
formers. They were sometimes themselves close to high 
hurch dignitaries, and they sometimes rewarded college 
en with seats in important political conventions. They 
Idom held public office; but they seldom lost control of 
iblic officials. In close electoral campaigns, like that of 


1896, they spent millions of dollars in order that there might 
not be any disruption of the economic or social order. 

Of equal importance was the newspaper press. The 
cost of an influential daily paper in a large city is very great. 
Its capital is apt to be near a million; its employes number 
thousands; its news franchises cost perhaps a hundred thou- 
sand a year. Such an institution can not be set up by mere 
upstarts, as in times long past when the freedom of the press 
was counted so dear as to be guaranteed in the national Con- 
stitution. Only through advertising may one expect to 
publish a newspaper. But advertising is supplied by the 
business community. It is not long supplied to papers whose 
editors disparage or attack business methods or favourite local 
institutions. Thus the modern newspaper is almost of 
necessity only an adjunct of business and business is de- 
pendent, as we all know, upon the great industrial or financial 
masters. Like the bosses, nearly all newspapers serve their 
day in the way of keeping things as they are. They en- 
deavour to prevent change. 

It is clear to any thinking man that change is the one thing 
that society must have or die. The new president of March, 
1913, was chosen for the purpose of changing the industrial 
life of the North. If he endeavoured to do that by a tariff^ 
reform, most of the agencies I have described would imite 
against him. All acknowledged that he was chosen to reform 
the tariff. But if he 'reformed it so as to injure any interest, 
he must be attacked. If by any chance any disturbance of the 
economic world followed his reforms, he knew that he would 
be blamed for that. In any other vital matter, his measures 
must be so timed and so carefully done that no important 
group should suffer. To do anything was dangerous; to do 
nothing, equally dangerous. 

And who would lend the new executive the necessary 


lupport? The large minorities in the cities and in the 
;ounties of the North who had voted for him? But mi- 
lorities do not carry states and deliver votes in the electoral 
ioUeges. Perhaps organized Labour in the cities? But 
l<abour has never been strong enough to resist the threats of 
imployers in times of political crisis. Would a Presbyterian 
ilder command the support of the cardinals and bishops of the 
loman Church? If not, it would be hard for the new Demo- 
iratic administration to retain the support of those large 
ainorities in states like Massachusetts and Illinois. 

If the position of the Democratic party was diflBcult indeed 
a every Northern state, its support in the South seemed 
ecure. But this meant that the older and more rigid Prot- 
estant parts of the country, the conservative, native-bom, 
English-speaking groups of the composite nation would be 
aligned behind the new regime. That of itself was an oflFence, 
IS everyone saw from the importance attached by the Hughes 
lampaign managers in 1916 to the sectional issue, and it was a 
lource of weakness among those very high-minded Liber- 
ils everywhere who felt that the South was still barbarous 
n its treatment of Negro crimes and offences. Moreover, 
he solid South was apd is agricultural and just a little archaic 
n its social Hfe and culture, and thus hardly apt to endorse 
he new Democratic attitude toward woman suffrage. And 
TOman suffi^age was a burning question in 1913. 

Besides, the South had got just enough of the new in- 
lustrialism and the profits of big business to disturb the 
;hinking of her leaders. The iron and coal interests of 
Uabama composed a minority of the economic values of the 
itate, yet Alabama's leading representatives in Congress were 
imong the devoted advocates of the iron and coal point of 
^iew. Although North Carolina was predominantly an 
igricultural community, her senior senator was halrdly of 


that liberal class of public men that Wilson so much needed 
to head the Finance Committee of the Senate. In Virginia, 
the railroad interests had dominated the affairs of the state 
since 1896, if not since the rise of William Mahone in 1880; 
and its senators had been ardent opponents of the President 
in the Baltimore convention. Henry Watterson, the fore- 
most publicist of Kentucky, was an enemy of Mr. Wilson 
perhaps on mere personal grounds; while in Missouri, both 
senators and Speaker Clark were the makers and masters 
of one of the most reactionary machines in the country. If 
the South was homogeneous, it was far from Liberal on the 
great questions which any "forward-looking" president must 
press for solution. 

The machines of the East, Republican or Democratic, 
were likely to find support from similar machines in the South 
if the President insisted upon the adoption of woman suffrage 
for the country, or if he endeavoured to procure the enactment 
of an adequate child-labour law, so long pressed by the very 
men and women in the North and West who had done most to 
bring about his nomination. In the South, although men 
were ardent Democrats, economic interests took precedence 
over any theories of democracy that formerly underlay 
their party attitude, at least that was true of their more 
experienced statesmen. And, although Southerners were 
more religious and more Puritan than other sections of 
the country, the South was by no means a irnit that 
could be wielded in any great crusade for a more humane 
and kindly foreign policy, for example, in relation to 
Mexico. The South was bound fast by the insoluble 
Negro problem. 

If, then, Mr. Wilson was to succeed, he must endeavour to 
build upon the foundations laid in three campaigns by Mr. 
Bryan. But the very name of Bryan was an offence to some 


ood Eastern men who had helped Wilson to win the nominal 
ion. In academic circles where there had been some support 
f Wilson one had only to mention the Nebraskan to call forth 

sigh. Yet Bryan had been the only leader who had sup- 
orted an idealistic rank and file of the Democratic party in 
tie West. And his followers in the South were just those 
len who had not yielded to the materialistic boss and in- 
ustrialist systems in states like Virginia, Alabama, and 

Again, if Wilson was to succeed he must seek to found a 
reat personal party, a machine like those which Jefferson 
nd Jackson had built. Only through a solid phalanx of 
evoted followers, held together by loyalty to the President 
s a great leader of men or perhaps by the hope of office or 
ther good things to come, could he combat those powerful 
laterialistic organizations of the North or those deep-seated 
rejudices that underlie the voting of the older elements of 
be South. Mr Bryan might greatly aid in the building of 
iich a following, but it would require more than the ordinary 
enerosity of friendship to yield himself, like John the 
faptist, to the new leader. A great personal machine re- 
uires certain personal qualities none too well developed in 
Ir. Wilson. Yet if Northern Democrats would abandon 
islikes, if Mr. Bryan would efface himself, and if the right 
one could be struck, success might be won, won if eight 
ears were granted in the presidency. These are many ifs. 
i'here are many ifs to any successful career in the White 

But if the solid industrial blocs of the North, if the distrust of 
be older New England stocks of any democratic regime 
ould be overcome, and if the new president could arrange a 
ombination of his friends with those of Mr. Bryan, there 
ras yet another and a complicated situation to be met in the 


spring of 1913. The industrial revolution hadljrought about 
the participation of the United States in the economic imper- 
ialism of the time. New York bankers were desirous of having 
a share in a great international loan to China, the interest 
on which was to be guaranteed by the governments con- 
cerned. The State Department was then being pressed to 
give its approval. The Monroe Doctrine, put forth in 1823 
as a guarantee of weaker American republics against Euro- 
pean aggression, had become a cover for American aggres- 
sion. Since the seizure by President Roosevelt of the 
Panama canal zone in 1903, every South American republic 
had been exceedingly anxious lest the- United States should 
commit herself definitely to a policy of industrial and financial 
imperialism in that region.' 

Of more immediate concern was the condition of Mexico. 
The people of that country, a mixed and ill-developed race 
under the tutelage of Roman Catholic priests, had never 
trusted the United States since the rape of Texas in 1845. But 
under the leadership of Porfirio Diaz the affairs of the coun- 
try were brought, by pure force, into order. Americans won 
joncessions of every sort: vast ranches, mines, oil fields, rail- 
ways, and other public utilities. Before 1913, Americans 
owned or controlled property in Mexico worth about six hun- 
dred millions. Similar concessions had, been granted to Euro- 
peans of all the great industrial nations. Mexico was no longer 
Mexico; and the Mexicans, as ignorant and superstitious 
as the Russians of to-day, came to regard every foreigner as 
an enemy seeking to enslave them and enrich himself. Under 
the new Monroe Doctrine, the idea had gained general 
acceptance in Europe that the Government of the United 
States must be responsible for all that happened to foreigners 

iThe best treatment of this subject will be found in A. B. .Hart's, "The Monroe Doctrine." 
Boston, ISie. 


in Mexico, which only increased the bitterness of the Mexi- 


Francisco Madero undertook to reform Mexico. He was 
brushed aside by Diaz. He then raised the standard of revo- 
lution, and in May, 1911, Diaz sailed for Paris and Madero 
became president of the country, although not accepted by 
the defeated followers of Diaz. In February, 1913, General 
Huerta deserted Madero, caused the latter to be assassinated, 
and proclaimed himself president. The American Ambassa- 
dor, Henry L. Wilson, interested always in the rights and 
concessions of his countrymen, gave a certain countenance to 
the new regime and forthwith began to urge his government 
to grant official recognition. President Taft, at the very 
close of his term, declined, of course, to commit himself; but 
American business men and American newspapers urged with 
the greatest earnestness the immediate recognition of the 
new Mexican president. The disinterested observer noted 
always in those days that it was business men who had con- 
nections and concessions, or newspapers that spoke for such 
American interests, which pressed so constantly for the recog- 
nition of the bloody-handed Huerta.^ 

Madero had not been able to protect foreigners in Mexico. 
Huerta was likewise unable to maintain order without as- 
sistance from other countries. More than a billion dollars' 
worth of property was at stake and foreigners were almost 
daily shot down by brigands or revolutionists. Europe, at 
the very height of industrial imperialism and on the verge of 
war, insisted upon the protection of European interests in 
Mexico or upon a guarantee that the Government of the 
United States would protect them. Industrialism had in- 

^Freaident Roosevelt's so-called big stick policy was a chief cause of this European attitude. 
^Up-to-date information, including bibliography, on Mexico may be found in the new "En- 
cyclopedia Americana," Vol. IS. 


deed broken that old isolation of which Americans had 
boasted since the time of Washington's famous Farewell 
Address. There was no isolation. There could be none for 
a country that had entered the modern industrial worid. 
How would Wilson treat the Mexican problem? 

Nor was this all. The Spanish War left the United States 
in possession of the Philippine Islands. The natives resented 
subordination to the country which they had hoped would 
rescue them from Spain and set them free. Their repre- 
sentatives never ceased to urge in this country the applica- 
tion of the principles of the Declaration of Independence. 
But the growing and threatening imperialism of Japan, 
especially the conduct of the latter both in Korea and China, 
made it difficult to give that independence which had all 
along been promised. It might prove to be the beginning 
of a war in the Far East which must involve all the world. 
Yet the Democratic party had more than once promised free- 
dom to the islanders.^ 

At the close of the Spanish War, England and the United 
States entered into an agreement that the United States 
might build a canal across the Isthmus of Panama on the 
understanding that the shipping of all nations should receive 
equal treatment in using it. But Congress authorized in the 
Tolls Act of 1912 that the American coastwise shipping might 
use the canal free of tolls. Although it was commonly 
known that this coastwise shipping was almost exclusively in 
the control of the great continental railways, both the old 
political parties endorsed this exemption in their platforms. 
The British Ambassador, James Bryce, protested that the 
understanding with England had been violated. Other 
European nations took the British view. And the facts 

>ln every platform since 1900 and particularly in the Jones bills of 1911-12. 


seemed to show that Congress was willing to violate a treaty 
in order to grant a favour to certain railroad interests. 

The building of the canal had indeed bound the country 
still more closely to the imperialistic diplomacy of the modern 
world. Nor was it possiblethat it should be otherwise. More- 
over, the canal was the beginning of a Caribbean policy for 
the United States which resembled the century-old Mediter- 
ranean policy of Great Britain. The United States, owning 
the canal, could not allow any other country to own any- 
thing within striking distance. Central American states were, 
as they had been in the days of the planter domination, 
1850-60, of necessity ancillary to the canal zone. No other 
strong power might have a foothold in them; and no weak 
power could gain one. In like manner the islands of the 
Caribbean became important to the United States. The 
very hint of the sale of one of these islands to Germany or 
Britain was enough in 1912 to set American public opinion 
on edge. It might mean war. The Monroe Doctrine was in 
consequence made to cover that, as indeed it did cover one 
phase of it — only now the plain objective was American 
possession of every island or station that might happen to be 

Thus when Mr. Wilson, elected upon a minority of the 
votes of his countrymen, came to office, the United States 
was industrially a par t of the g cearfe-jwerid of which Germany 
and England were~tEe leaders and no longer the isolated 
nation that her people fondly conceived her to be. This 
fact was quite strongly foreshadowed in the last public ad- 
dress of President McKinley^ delivered to the assembled 
leaders of railways and industry at Buffalo in 1901 . He then 

^This imperialistic outgrowth of the canal building might have been avoided by the neu- 
tralization of the Panama zone, but American leaders and American newspapers would not 
for a moment allow any such procedure. 

'Wilson's message of December S, 1919, repeats the same thing. 


declared that the former extremely high tariff policy of his 
party must be abandoned. The time had come when Amer- 
ican industries must overflow the tariff walls set up for 
their protection. These walls were then about to become a 
hindrance to exportations. They must be lowered. Within 
a short decade the very character of the United States had 
changed. But political leaders and party shibboleths gave 
no evidence that this fact was understood.^ Truly the novice 
in politics came to oflBce at a critical time. 

If he understood all that transpired in the world, and 
nobody has ever been so wise, he might yet fail entirely 
to accomplish anything really important for the coun- 
try or the world. For, if he proved able to lead an unwill- 
ing North, kept the South in working harness and drew 
to himself all the great following of Mr. Bryan, he might yet 
wreck everything in possible blunders or in a failure to bring 
Congress to a hearty cooperation. Here the meaning of the 
Constitution was apt to be called into question. And most 
Americans are worshippers of written constitutions, devoted 
followers of men long since dead and past the hope of political 
salvation. The Constitution provides, or is thought to pro- 
vide, that each house of Congress is absolutely independent 
of the other, that both are independent of the president, that 
the judges of the Supreme Court may veto any act of Congress 
and bring to naught any policy of both Congress and presi- 
dent if in their judgment the rights of individuals or corpora- 
tion should be put in jeopardy. Moreover, the members 
of the Senate must be chosen for terms of six years by states, 
and they have ever been chosen to represent the interests or 
the desires of states and not the interests or desires of the 
nation as a whole. Members of the House of Representatives 

>Nor have the events of the great war brought even the so-called articulate elements to a 
realization o{ the fact 


ire likewise chosen by districts, for two-year terms, to repre- 
ient the interests of districts and not those of the country. 
The president is chosen by the people of the country for a 
bur-year term to represent the country. Thus everybody 
n Washington represents something different from every- 
)ody else, except as the bonds of political parties tend to 
>vercome this. vA senator outlives a president, a president 
mtlives a representative, and the judges of the Supreme 
Zouit outlive all.) 

Never has a great office been so hedged about as the 
American presidency. And yet in 1913 the President was 
sleeted to do some of the greatest things any executive 
)fficer ever had been set to do. Wilson had been long an 
idvocate of the idea that the American Government was no 
jovernment at all if administered strictly according to the 
[!onstitution. His idea that a president must unite his party 
n Congress and the country, lead it to positive action and 
;hen accept both personal and party responsibility was known 
;o political scientists everywhere, but not to members of 
Hongress^ at aHfojngressmen hasiagJong since forsworn the 
ise of booksj What would happen when the minority 
jresident set about imiting his followers in Congress, writing 
jills for them to enact and then personally pressing them 
igainst the interests of their constituents to vote for them? 
?or a hundred years senators had claimed immunity from 
luch pressure. They had sometimes dictated to presidents 
md many times brought to naught the declared purposes of 
;he people. Representatives were less stubborn and not 
listorically so deeply rooted, yet they, too, knew how to defeat 
>residents who sought to lead them whither they did not wish 

iHesrings of U. S. Senate Committee on Education and Labour — testimony of W. Z. Foster. 
a general, the bearings of committees of Congress have shown this very distinctly. Perhaps a 
ery small number of coDgressmeo read the serious books of the time. 


Truly, the leadership of the United States is the most diffi- 
cult and trying thing in the world. But Congress was not 
the only obstacle. The judges of the Supreme Court count 
themselves the infallible arbiters of great matters in the 
United States. They are the popes and the cardinals of the 
American system all in one. It must be so. In every 
country there must be an infallible person or group, else there 
-can be no stability. In England it is Parliament; in imperial 
Grermany it was the Kaiser and the Bundesrath; in the 
United States the effort was made to divide responsibility 
among three distinct branches of the sovereignty. No such 
division is possible. The Supreme Court took upon itself 
under the leadership of the great judge, John Marshall, the 
responsibility which someone must exercise.' Only once or 
twice has the decision of Marshall been challenged and then 
unsuccessfully. One recalls Lincoln's bitter complaint of 
1858 and Bryan's challenge of 1896. It is a curious thing in 
the struggle for democracy in the United States that men have 
never really endeavoured to set up machinery whereby the 
people might become the judge in great matters.* 

How was Wilson to succeed in 1913? He knew and all 
thoughtful men knew that he must attack the great powers^ 
of industry, of finance, and of organized monopoly. He must 
deal with the rights of property, effect in some way a re- 
distribution of wealth. The problem was concentration of eco- 
nomic power, just as the problem of 1860 was the concentra- 
tion of wealth, that is, social and political power in the hands 
of a few thousand masters of slaves. If the schoolmaster 
from New Jersey set about his real task, the majority of Con- 
gress would oppose him, in part from an instinctive fear of 

'For the ablest and latest authority on Marshall and his work see Mr. A. J. Beveridge's 
"life of John Marshall," Boston, 1919. 
> As England, for example, has done. 


iuch reform, in part from ignorance of the needs of the coim- 
;ry, and in part from motives of mere party advantage. If 
t came to a fight in Congress the leaders of industry would 
it once thrust the immense weight of their influence into the 
scales against him. If he managed to keep a majority of 
Ilongress on his side, it must in the nature of things appear to 
)Oth the industrial North and the older social groups there 
IS a sectional struggle. If the majority of Congress, led by 
he South and the President, set up a vital reform, the courts 
vere most likely to declare the finished work unconstitu- 
ional; and, as a rule, the articulate elements of the people 
lave sustained the courts against all comers. In such a posi- 
;ion the new president was likely to find himself of little real 
ralue to the country, for no able man cares merely for the 
lonour of living in the White House. Moreover, a president 
nust keep Congress, a majority of the country, and the courts 
vorking together at least four years in order to be a moderate 
luccess. He must continue the cooperation and continue 
o go forward for eight years and then leave a successor of 
ike mind in office if he would be a great president. It re- 
luires from eight to twelve years of successful administra- 
ion in the United States to set up a tradition that will out- 
ast the life of the leader who would impress his generation. 

Jefferson was such a leader and a successful president. 
Fackson also set up a social and political dynasty that en- 
lured long after he was in the grave. Lincoln succeeded, 
.00, but rather because he brought the nation's greatest war 
:o a successful conclusion and died immediately thereafter 
;han because he left a successor of his own choosing in office. 
Dleveland was historically due for a similar contribution to 
American life, but Cleveland failed as did McKinley. Roose- 
velt essayed the great task, won the necessary popularity, 
)ut it was contrary to the nature of political parties in the 


country for him and his successor to reform industry and its 
attendant evils. It was his own chief support that he en- 
deavoured to reform; that is, if he succeeded he must pull 
down the party that set him up! 

Wilson came. He had the older ethnical elements of the 
country behind him, the body of orthodox Americans, both 
religious and economic; he had the support of the old South, 
though, as we have seen, it was not a united South; and he had 
the Democratic party for his weapon of attack. The diffi- 
culty was that reform had been delayed too long; the thought- 
patterns of the people had remained the same too long and 
the difficulties of peaceful change had become, as I think I 
have shown, almost impossible to meet. It is, therefore, 
not surprising that a great ex-senator visited Washington 
soon after the inauguration, talked with the astute men 
there, and solemnly announced that "the schoolmaster of 
New Jersey would not succeed, that the election of 1914 
would take away his majority in Congress, and that in 1916 
a Republican president would take his place."' He is re- 
ported to have added that only Republicans could govern the 
United States. The opinion of the ex-senator was likewise 
the opinion of the representatives of the foreign governments 
in Washington.^ Men of the world distrusted the idealistic 
programme of Wilson's campaign. It could not succeed, yet 
it must be tried. If it failed, Wilson would fail. If some 
materialistic compromise were set up in its place the new 
president would not only fail; he would be ridiculous. Such 
was the problem of 1913 and such the difficulties with which 
the " schoolmaster " must begin. 

^This prophecy was reported to the writer by an experienced ex-senator who had the language 
direct from its author. 
^This the author has from unimpeachable sources. 


DURING the months which followed the election of 1912 
he President-elect set about building the administrative ma- 
hine with which he would endeavour to work. The Cabinet 
ras the first element. Of course he must take his official 
amily from the Democratic party. The last Democratic 
►resident, Grover Cleveland, had undertaken to employ 
listinguished representatives of the opposing party as in- 
imate counsellors; but Cleveland had no party when he left 
iffice. That example was not enticing. 

But the Democratic party had not held office in sixteen 
ears. It contained few men of high public experience. 
2ven these were not available to Wilsoii. They were men 
f opposing social and economic views. Governor Harmon 
ras a conservative of rather extreme tendency. Repre- 
entative Underwood was of the same frame of mind and was, 
lesides, already on the way to the Senate whence few politi- 
ians ever return, save upon political defeat. Wilson could 
lot call upon the greater organizations of the party, like those 
if Illinois or Virginia, for their leaders were almost personally 
Lostile. The more-or-less radical Democrats must be his 

Among these Mr. Bryan was the foremost. As Mr. Sidney 
Jrooks said in the North American Review at the time,^ the 
ountry selected Bryan and Wilson must abide the choice. 

>The North Ameriean Renac, Vol. 198, pp. it et teq. 



Yet the choice was an almost mortal offence to Mr. George 
Harvey and his friends of the Eastern wing of the party. It 
was a warning to the older machine men who had sought to 
control the party ever since 1896. And they had often been 
successful. Mr. Bryan became Secretary of State. And 
the fact of Bryan in that office was a standing announcement 
to the world that a new day had come. It meant a bitter 
war of all the greater financial men of the time against the 

There were two other members of the new cabinet of 
similar mould. Mr. Josephus Daniels of North Carolina, a 
close friend of the Nebraska leader, was made Secretary of 
the Navy. Mr. Albert S. Burleson of Texas, also a friend 
of Mr. Bryan and a former member of Congress, was givem 
charge of the Post Office Department. Both of these men 
were experienced politicians, loyal Southerners, and Demo- 
crats of unblemished standing. They were counted upon 
to aid the Secretary of State in pressing administration 
measures upon Congress. The other members of the new 
administration were Messrs. McAdoo, Garrison, Lane, Hous- 
ton, Redfield, and Wilson, the first four being quite as much 
business men as public characters. This second group gave 
at that time no particular promise of high service. But the 
great war which was so soon to subject all to the utmost test 
has shown that their selection was justified. This is not to 
say that the Cabinet has been beyond criticism. Some of its 
members have certainly made serious blunders; but most of 
them have rendered very great service both to the country 
and to their chief. Mr. Bryan resigned in June, 1915, rather 
than agree to the warlike note to the German Emperor which 
the President insisted upon sending. But Bryan had no 
quarrel with his chief; and he is to-day a warm supporter 
of the Administration. Mr. Garrison, the Secretary of War, 


st his head in the discussion of military matters in the 
inter of 1916 and resigned.* 

It was not such a cabinet as President Lincohi gathered 
30ut him in March, 1861. It was certainly not a group of 
II the talents, as was once said of a British cabinet. Nor 
as it a quarrelsome body of men as those about Lincoln 
srtainly were. It was an administrative cabinet not unlike 
lat which Jefferson selected and kept about him during two 
!rms. Nor have the two men who were invited to take the 
laces of Messrs. Bryan and Garrison — Mr. Lansing and Mr. 
aker — ^been exceptions to the rule. The Cabinet was se- 
icted with two definite purposes in mind: one group to aid in 
assing of important bills through Congress and to keep the 
.dministration in harmony with the party outside, the other 
rimarily for high administrative work. As a whole, the 
abinet has proved quite as successful a^ny of its predeces- 
)rs, with one notable exception. There has certainly been 
ttle disloyalty or backbiting.^ 

If the Cabinet gave fair promise of success, the other 
leans of drawing a majority of the country to him, the 
annection of the President with party or economic chief ttyns, 
id not promise so well. Wilson was an outsider from the 
olitical point of view. The experience he had had as a 
ublic man in New Jersey only tended to alienate him from 
lie older leaders and these leaders could not easily forget or 
jrgive his treatment of ex-Senator James Smith. It was a 
naming to all who wished any other than public ends. 
Vilson must then endeavour to win the masses of the people 
3 him by his public statements knd by his acts. And in the 
rt of rallying disinterested men to him Wilson has been 
urpassed by only two presidents, Jefferson and Jackson; but 

>Compa» Wilson's own view of what a cabinet should be in The Remew qf Reviews for April, 


'For Lincoln's cabinet, see A. Rothschild's "Lincoln, Master of Men," Boston, 1900. 


Wilson, unlike Jefferson and Jackson, has not shown any 
ability to bind men to him through personal-friend loyalty. 
Men follow him from intellectual motives, not upon the 
principle expressed in the saying: "The gang's all here." 
Wilson, as I have already made clear, is a master of con- 
vincing statement; and he has made it his particular business 
to inform and inspire all classes of disinterested people from 
the first day of his Administration. In that way he meant to 
build a great popular support. His first inaugural address is 
an excellent illustration of the new president at his best. 

It was a great occasion. The country had gone through a 
long and bitter struggle in which the masses of men of the 
older American ideals and agrarian interests had contended 
against the newer industrial system and its powerful allies in 
business. The former had won after many years of failure 
and Wilson was their spokesman. Fully conscious of all the 
bearings of the situation, he read on March 4, 1913, his 
careful and matured statement. 

We have done great things in this country and we have 
suffered many ignoble things to be done. We have won 
unparalleled victories over Nature and at the same time we 
have sacrificed much of the great heritage from Nature in a 
reckless haste to pile up vast fortunes. Powerful and in- 
comparably wealthy men have held high influence with us 
while millions of poor and dependent people have worked and 
suffered in squaUd homes, in dangerous mills, and unwhole- 
some mines. And the Government we have all loved has 
often been made use of for private and selfish purposes, and 
those who have used it have forgotten the people. Our duty 
is to cleanse and restore, to correct the evil without impairing 
the good. We have come now to the sober second thought. 
We mean to square our present conduct with every ideal and 
promise with which we so proudly began in 1776. We shall 


eal with great industry as it is and as it may be modified and 
ot as we might do if we had a clean sheet of paper to write 

He concluded: "This is not a day of triumph; it is a day 
f dedication. Here muster not the forces of party, but the 
jrces of humanity. Men's hearts wait upon us; men's lives 
ang in the balance; men's hopes call upon us to say what we 
ill do. Who shall live up to the great trust? Who dares fail 
3 try? I summon all honest men, all patriotic, all forward- 
)oking men to my side. God helping me, I will not fail 
bem, if they will but counsel and sustain me." 

High and noble ideals. It was indeed the language and 
ppeal of a new character in our public life, an earnest call to 
11 those humane and kindly reformers who had helped 
lolonel Roosevelt bear aloft his Progressive flag. Would 
he new president, with his minority following, win either the 
reater or the lesser leaders of that movement to his side? 
'hat was an anxious query to many minds in the spring of 
913. Perhaps it was not in the nature of things for the 
K-President to lend Wilson his support. But others not so 
ist bound to the industrial interests of the coimtry might 

After the inauguration and the omission of the customary 
tupid ball. President Wilson set himself to the hard task of 
banging the very current of history. And the need was 
reat. The United States had been set up as an asylum for 
he poor. It remained poor for many decades and its inter- 
ational relations were simple and unaffected, hardly touched 
y the great world of diplomacy and chicane. But as the 
ears went by the Monroe Doctrine, at first set up as a shield 
f small American republics against possible European 

^Thia paragraph I have paraphrased somewhat freely from the original in 6. M. Harper's 
Addresses of Woodrow Wilson," New York, 1917, 1-8. 


aggression, became a rock of offence to all our Latin-Amer- 
ican neighbours. As the United States grew powerful, 
its citizens wished to have its power follow them, like 
that of ancient Rome, wherever they went. In Chili, in 
Brazil, in Colombia, Venezuela, and Mexico there had grown 
up a fear and a distrust of Americans that very much re- 
sembled the fear and distrust of the border peoples of the 
Roman republic toward those privileged Latins who in the 
time of the Caesars overawed their weaker neighbours. 
There was considerable cause. In Mexico men still talked of 
the rape of Texas in 1845; in Colombia they insisted that 
Roosevelt had seized the Panama canal zone in the good old 
Roman way.^ In Venezuela, in spite of the Cleveland 
episode which probably saved the country from large ter- 
ritorial loss, there was the bitterest hatred of Americans. 
The so-called A. B. C. powers had been directing their di- 
plomacy against the implications of the Monroe Doctrine for 
twenty -five years' and it was the insistence of South Amer- 
ican representatives at the Second Hague Conference in 1907 
that prevented a satisfactory agreement on the subject of the 
international responsibility of smaller countries for the col- 
lection of private debts within their borders. 

A great deal has been said, both in bitter anger and in 
friendly remonstrance, about the character of the men whom 
Wilson sent abroad to carry out his new policy. But men 
have forgotten in the presence of a great world war that the 
diplomats of the Wilson Administration were appointed when 
there was no thought of war or the complications that fol- 
lowed. Still, one might read much American history without 
finding better men at foreign courts than Walter H. Page, am- 
bassador to England, James W. Gerard in Berlin, and Henry 

^Colonel Roosevelt himself said in California in 1910 to a large audience: '1 took Panama." 
«A. B. Hart, "The Monroe boctrine, An Interpretation," pp. «6a-7. 


ilorgenthau in Constantinople. These were new men, to be 
ure. Wilson could not retain the older diplomats and expect 
, satisfactory execution of his plans. But new or old, these 
len have never been accused of want of ability or devotion to 
he cause of their coimtry. Page gave his life in London, un- 
omplaining, as a penalty for his devotion, and Gerard was 
nquestionably equal to all that could have been expected 
rom any representative at the court of the Hohenzollerns. 
Of the other appointees, the bitter wail of some critics may 
e partially explained on other grounds than sheer devotion 
the best interests of the country. Few will ever find heart 

say that Maurice F. Egan, minister to Denmark, Brand 
Vhitlock in Brussels, and Paul S. Reinsch in Peking, were not 

1 the critical years of the World War equal to the best of 
heir predecessors and wholly satisfactory to the American 
eople. But there were others in South America, at the smaller 
apitals of other "backward countries," and perhaps in some 
nportant posts who owed their appointment merely to pull 
r political considerations, unworthy of attention. But 
rhen this is freely granted, the historian can not but ask, when 
as any other American president had a better list to show? 
for must it be forgotten that in our day of wireless and 
able, the president is in all important diplomatic matters 
is own ambassador and his own minister. His decision can 
le had any day. Some of the agents of President Wilson 
ave not been of the wise and highly efficient type of Amer- 
;ans; but it is yet to be shown that any great American 
iterest has suffered. 

I have shown in the preceding chapter that the whole 
areign policy was ready for reform. Indeed the whole in- 
ernational system of commercial imperialism stood in 
naminent danger of overthrow. What Wilson was elected 
o do for the industrial life of the United States was equally 


needful for the whole industrial world. Within a week Wil- 
son made known his lack of interest in the proposed six- 
power Chinese loan already arranged when President Taft 
left ofiSce. But without assurance from the new Democratic 
party that its leaders would follow the imperialistic policy of 
the preceding fifteen years. New York financiers did not wish 
to proceed. Not only the Chinese loan, but the Monroe 
Doctrine and the relations with Mexico were all under con- 

From March 11th to December 2nd the President matured 
and explained to the world a new foreign policy.^ He would 
have no more exploitation of South American countries by 
Americans under cover of the Monroe Doctrine; but he would 
associate all Latin-American governments with that of the 
United States in a common policy. If Americans wished to 
make investments in any part of Latin America, they must 
not expect the people of the United States to send their army 
and navy to aid in the collection of either principal or interest. 
If the nationals of the United States or other countries found 
themselves in difficulties, they must endeavour to settle 
things in the local courts and according to the laws of the 
country in which they had taken up their residence. He 
would endeavour to assist them; he would persuade the 
heads of weaker powers to do justice, but he would not make 
of the Government an instrument for the advancement of 
private fortunes or for the humiliation of governments that 
had difficulty in maintaining the validity of contracts tainted 
with fraud or imfair dealing. 

The best expression of this new Monroe, or Wilson Doctrine, 
will be found in the address delivered by the President at 
Mobile on October 27, 1913. In that statement he made it 

^An important documents bearing on thia cliange ot policy will be found in Robinson and 
West, VThe Foreign Policy of Woodrow Wilson," New York, 1917, pp. 179-806. 


plain that exploitation of weaker peoples had been the cause 
of most of the diflSculty as well as of the growing hatred to- 
ward the United States in most Latin-American countries. 
He urged them to maintain order; but he promised them not 
to meddle in their aflfairs in the name of the Monroe Doctrine. 
And he invited all to make a common American association 
of powers for the advancement of democracy in world affairs. 

In a similar spirit he sent John Lind to Mexico to persuade 
General Huerta to make friends with his rivals and op- 
ponents and himself abandon the presidency which he had 
usurped. The voice of the Mexicans, albeit men laughed at 
them as ignorant and stupid, meant more to Wilson than the 
cries of even thousands of American adventurers who had 
gone to Mexico to make fortunes in devious ways. He ad- 
vised the latter to leave the country when the revolution 
endangered their lives, and he gave them all possible aid; 
but he would not send the army or the navy to enforce private 
rights of Americans or to maintain order against the wishes of 
the Mexicans. Of course Huerta, conscious of the mild and 
humane policy of the President and aware of the support he, 
Huerta, was receiving from great American papers and finan- 
ciers, did not heed the warning. Wilson was left to his 
policy of "watchful waiting" as he himself described it in 
December, 1913. 

Toward the Philippines he entertained the same views. 
The imperialistic policy of 1898 and the exigencies of inter- 
national diplomacy had tended to make of the United States 
only another colonizing and commercial power in the Far 
East. He announced to the Pripinos on October 6, 1913, 
in the address of the new Governor-General, that "the mere 
extent of the_Amerisg5^conquesJ;^^_not what gives America 
distinction in the annals of. the world, but the professed pur- 
pose of the conquest which was to see to it that every foot of 


this land should be the home of free, sr f-governed people, who 
should have fio government whatever which did not rest upon 
the consent of the governed." And a little later, with ap^ 
proval of Congress, the islanders were given a still larger 
control of their affairs, a control which left the governor the 
only active power of the United States in the islands. The 
next step was to be complete independence. 

In South America, in Mexico, and in the Philippines he was 
setting to the imperialist powers of the world an example that 
1 ought to have influenced them; and he was denying to 
business men of the country the free exercise of that long- 
acknowledged privilege, wliich business men have so loved in 
the past, of exploiting backward peoples. But in the midst 
of this reform, Japan and California, long disposed to quarrel, 
forced upon hini an issue about the right of Japanese subjects 
to own land in the United States. For months the Cali- 
fornians, under the leadership of Governor Johnson, in- 
sisted upon their right to prohibit subjects of Japan from 
owning lands in the state. The President endeavoured to 
moderate the people of "the coast" and to pacify the Japa- 
nese Government. The crisis passed, but the question of 
refusing the Japanese rights in the United States which were 
and still are granted to the subjects of other sovereignties 
remained unanswered till the assembling of the Paris Con- 

While the President was thus laying the foundations of 
the new policy in Latin America and in the Far East, Mr. 
Bryan prepared his scheme of universal arbitration. In 
April, 1913, he laid his plan before the assembled diplomats 
in Washington and began, without undue encouragement 
from them, the submission of his proposed treaties to the 
various countries. Many of the smaller countries of the world 
made haste to sign agreements, and Great Britain gave its 


approval. Other European nations except Germany signed. 
The President was in full accord with his Secretary of State. 
That he really meant that the United States should sacrifice 
important interests in the cause is shown by his settlement 
of the canal tolls question which England had kept before 
the country since the beginning of the last session of Congress 
under the Taft Administration. The European press was 
almost unanimous in its condemnation of the exemption by 
Congress of American coastwise shipping from the payment of 
tolls for the use of the Panama Canal. The business in- 
terests of the country insisted upon the favoured treatment 
of American shipping. The President asked Congress on 
March 5, 1914, for a repeal of the law, saying that we could not 
afford to be regarded as seeking any undue advantage, even 
if the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty did guarantee such advantage. 
The prompt repeal of a law that had been passed by very 
large majorities shows how strong a hold the President had 
upon the countty at the end of his first year in office, 
, Thus during the short period that Wilson was to have free 
lot the complications of a great war, he was trying to educate 
this countrymen to a new and more kindly spirit in the old 
world of secret diplomacy. He hoped to convince some of 
the other peoples of the world that a less grasping diplom- 
acy might after all be more profitable. "My dream is that 
as the years go on and the world knows more and more of 
America, it will turn to America for those moral inspirations 
which lie at the basis of all freedom; that the world will never 
fear America unless it feels that it is engaged in some en- 
terprise which is inconsistent with the rights of humanity.'^]) 
And when his conciliatory policy with Mexicp was giving end- 
less worry and he had authorized the employment of force, 
he said to the graduating class at Annapolis: "They have had 

iftom a speech delivered at Philadelphia, July 4, 1914. 

TH!E great reforms 135 

to use some force — I pray God it may not be necessary for 
them to use any more — but do you think that the way they 
fought is going to be the most lasting impression? Have 
men not fought ever since the world began? Is there any- 
thing new in using force?" 

Here was indeed a new faith in high place. Nor had he 
been loth to exercise his faith in common men when on May 
2, 1913, he recognized the young Chinese Republic. The self- 
detennination of peoples was to be seen in this as in the new 
attitude toward Latin America. Of course the plan of leaving 
the Mexicans to govern their own country, well or ill; of al- 
lowing South American courts to determine the issues of right 
and wrong as between foreigners and their own citizens; and 
of yielding freely to the wishes of the Chinese who were trying 
to set up a government of the people was greeted with jeers 
in Europe and especially in great American cities. ^A London 
paper said that the Golden Rule would not work and Wilson 
would learn, as did Gladstone, to apply the big stick. The 
Boston Transcript said that Mr. Wilson was a sort of Mr. 
Micawber in diplomacy, and the Detroit Free Press asked: 
"Who of us can say that the United^States will never again 
embark on a war of conquest? " * ) 

Still, the first great reform of the Wilson Administration 
and one of the most important of all, a reform of the American 
foreign policy, had been begun. There were, in spite of the 
taunts of the metropolitan newspapers, many supporters 
of the new ideal. Plain people everywhere espoused it, in 
so far as they xmderstood it. Many of the. so-called intellect- 
uals endorsed it; and a large number of newspapers, like 
the Springfield Republican, said that when men got over the 
shock of Golden-Rule diplomacy they would hardly stand out 
against it.* However great the success of the new diplomacy 

■Quoted in Tht Literary Digat, November 8, 1918. "~ 


was and in view of the great war that was so soon to break 
upon the world it was supremely important. But the effect of 
it all depended upon the greater problem of what to do with 
industrialism, with the abuses or overgrowths of business. 
If Wilson did not begin a reform of the industrial life of the 
country, and begin it in a way that could not easily be re- 
versed, his golden rule in foreign affairs would not avail, and 
his Administration would prove a failure. 

While the country was catching its breath and preparing 
to think about the new diplomacy, the President called Con- 
gress together for the 8th of April, 1913. It was a Democratic 
congress by large margins. There could be no good excuse, 
as there had been during the Cleveland administrations, if 
the party did not function. Wilson appeared in person be- 
fore the two houses and read an earnest but very brief ap- 
peal asking for the pr omptest possible red ucti gn of U ie tariff.' 
He gave evidence of his method at once. He wouI3^ppear 
in person to argue his case; he would take up one thing at a 
time; he would himself guide the course of legislation. It 
was a new thing. But it was not new to him. He had said 
that such must be the method of presidents if they would 
lead the country and prevent Congress from becoming in- 
volved in impotent snarls such as had marked the career of 
more than one president. In fact, it has been his guiding prin- 
ciple as a public man and there was no just cause for surprise.* 

Yet the opposition forgot for the moment the Mexican 
tangle and the new foreign policy to attack this kind of per- 
sonal rule, this "dictation from the White House." But 
the Cabinet was a unit behind the President and Congress set 
about a real reform of the tariff. Not since. 1846 had there 

^All important speeches of the President will be found in G. M. Harper's "Addresses of 

President Wilson," 1918. 
^The Review of Remewe for April, 1893, gives a brief outline by Professor Woodrow Wilson 

of the proper procedure for a president who proposes to lead. 


been any real r eduction of the tariff rate s. No g came a gen- 
era Mownward revision from an average of 42 per cent, u pon 
iiQ gorts to a leve l of 26 per cent. That is, the schedules 
o f 191g were made substantially what they Had been uTtder 
t hg Walker Law of 1846. For once the rates of pro- 
tection were neither suggested nor fixed by representatives 
of the protected interests. In thL^Hirmingham manufactur- 
ing district a strong movement was set afoot to persuade its 
representative, Mr. Underwood, the chairman of the House 
Committee of Ways and Means, to make exceptions in favour 
of certain kinds of steel. The movement failed. Then the 
sugar men of Louisiana, never representing the larger body 
of people of that state, endeavoured to persuade the Senate 
that a Democratic tariff must protect sugar. This appeal 
failed likewise. The beet-sugar men of Michigan and the 
citrus fruit producers of California made like outcries. But 
there were, when the law was enacted and put into force, 
few if any jokers. 

There was, moreover, a tariff board created whose purpose 
was to be the study of future protectionist and free-trade i 
propositions. This board was set up to watch the workings)) 
of the tariff and make reports and recommendations in the 
interests of the whole people. Professor F. W. Taussig, the 
foremost student of the subject in the country, was made its 
head. If the Wilson plan succeeded, the tariff problem, long 
since a highly technical matter, would be taken out of politics.* 

Of more far-reaching effect was the pa rt of the Underwog d- 
Sjmmons Tariff Law whi ch enacted an inco me tax. Ever since ' 
Hie' second year ottne uivii War Americans had discussed the 
advisability of an income tax. Mark Twain made unmerci- 
ful fun of his countrymen for their successful efforts at evasion 
of the tax that was laid in Lincoln's time. A later law, en- 

>F. W. Taussig, "Some Phases of the Tatiff Question," New York, ISIS. 


acted during Cleveland's second term, was declared uncon- 
stitutional by the Supreme Court in a way that greatly in- 
jured the prestige of that body. At the close of President 
Taft's term, a constitutional amendment was adopted that 
removed all obstacles, real or imaginary, to the proposed 
tax. The cause of the prolonged opposition was the desire 
of the wealthy people erf the country to escape all national 
taxation, except as they might pay it through the customs 
house collections upon imports. In other words, the indus- 
trial districts, with their vast and growing wealth, feared any 
national tax system because the majority of the country was 
rural and likely to escape any large levies. 

The Wilson Administration assumed that a just tax must 
always be levied according to the ability of people to pay. It 
did not matter whether the wealth was concentrated in a 
narrow section in so far as the tax was concerned. The long- 
desired law was passed at the same time that the tariff was 
lowered. It was a liberal law in so far as great fortunes were 
concerned. Incomes of three thousand or less were to be 
exempt. A man of family was exempt on four thousand. 
All incomes in excess of twenty thousand a year were to be 
taxed progressively from two to six per cent., according to 
amount. Senator Root solemnly attacked the proposed 
measure in Congress. Once again newspapers of the big cities 
declared that to tax a rich man at a higher rate than a poor 
man was outrageous. But the bill became law. It was very 
imperfect in the beginning. After the great war began it 
was reshaped and heavy taxes were laid upon the great in- 
comes. The returns for 1916 of both corporations and per- 
sonal incomes showed that all the states south of the Potomac 
and the Ohio and including Texas paid less into the Federal 
treasury than the* single state of Illinois.^ This was proof 

^Statistics of Incpme for 1916. Treasury Department, p. IS. 

Wealth of the United States, 1860 

Eacb dot indicates one hundred millions of property. Note 
fairly even distribution. Compare with Map on Jncome Tax for 

Distribution of Wealth Shown by Income Tax 
Returns of 1916 

One dot represents one million dollars' income tax paid. Dots are 
placed as nearly as possible where the tax was collected 



enough that the law was needed; as it was evidence also of; 
the appallingly unequal distribution of wealth among the 
great industries of the people. 

A more important matter followed dose upon the heels of 
the so-called Underwood-Simmons tariff. It was the Federal 
Reserve Banking Law. From the panic of 1907, a commission, 
headed by Senator Nelson B. Aldrich,' had studied the sub- 
ject of national banking and endeavoured to work out a re- 
form which should at once render panics obsolete, give ^he 
country an even currency, and at the same time focus 
the control in a great central bank in New York City. 
Millions had been spent in the expenses of investigations, 
of visits to Europe, the salaries of experts, and in 
propaganda. But no constructive act of Congress had been 
passed. The people as a whole feared and distrusted 
the men who guided the work; they opposed the idea of 
a great national bank. Mr. Aldrich and his friends wished 
a system like that of England or Germany but with the 
control in the hands of private bankers. While everybody 
recognized the dangerous situation nobody could hope to 
win popular approval of the old concentrated financial 
dictation which Andrew Jackson had smashed eighty years 

The President gave the banking situation his earnest con- 
sideration. Secretary McAdoo and Carter Glass, then chair- 
man of the House Committee on Banking, coBperated, and 
among them the presentFejieEaUReaei3:£,Law was worked 
out. Mr. Wilson, f(Sowmg the precedent alreaHyTetrtl^ed 
the bill upon Congress. There was much debate in both 
houses and much pressure from without, prophecies without 
number that no national banking system under governmental 

'"Senate Documenta," 63rd Congress, 1 Session, No. iSi. 


direction could succeed."^ Secretary Bryan and other mem- 
bers of the Cabinet laboured with members of Congress to 
secure the passage of the bill. It was a case of governmental 
"team work" and the reform measure became law in the 
closing days of 1913. 

During the spring of 1914 the country was divided into 
twelve banking districts and reserve cities named. In each 
city a reserve bank was designated or set up. There was a 
local board for each. At the head of the system was the 
Treasury Department whose officers were to be members of 
the Federal Reserve Board. The financial affairs of the 
Government as well as the issuing of legal tender, the deter- 
mination of the emergency policy of the banks of the country 
in the event of crises, and the distribution of banking reserves 
were all imder the direction of this board. And the board 
was under the leadership of the Secretary of the Treasury 
and subject to the will of the people. It was indeed a new 
and a great thing. No other banking system in the world 
was quite Uke it. It was the emancipation of the Treasury. 
New York bankers could not in the future go to Washington, 
as Mr. J. P. Morgan had done in 1895^ and issue decrees 
to the president and people. Nor could there be hold-ups 
of the financial affairs of the country by business men who 
happened to have control of the New York bank reserves. 
If crops were to be moved, the Secretary of the Treasury and 
the new board would determine the movement and the loca- 
tion of the surplus moneys in the country. Credit was eman- 
cipated as well, for small business men would not need to have 
balances in certain New York controlled institutions in 
order to set up new enterprises. It was a redistribution 

>In spite of the fact that in Englfind, France, and Germany.govwnment control nai an ea- 
aential feature of banking operations. i 

•Carl Hovey, "The Life Story of J. Pierpont Morgan," Ch. VIII. 


of thie power which surplus bank deposits and the con- 
sequent accumulation of bank credits had concentrated in a 
few hands.* 

The system went into operation in November, 1914, when 
the disturbances of world finance due to the great war were 
becoming acute in the United States. Financiers of eVery 
group and interest were more than glad that the new system 
was ready, and there has been little hostile criticism of the law 
and its workings since it went into eflFect. The country has, 
after the mistakes and blunders of many banking and financ- 
ing experiments, including those of Hamilton, Calhoun, 
Biddle, Walker, and Chase, at last a plan of operation and 
control that is likely to prevent those extremes of economic 
panic and disaster which have made and ruined so many 
people in the past. 

Of similar general import was the Administration anti- 
trust measure of the winter and spring of 1914, a constructive 
amendment of the ineflFective Sherman Act of 1890. It 
changed the Sherman Law by defining its terms, forbidding 
local price-fixing and exclusive agreements, and abolishing 
interlocking directorates in interstate corporations, railroads, 
banks, and trust companies wherever these came into con- 
nection with the Federal Reserve system. It established the 
Federal Trade Board which was to study and regulate the 
conduct of the interstate business of the country, except 
as to the railroads. Perhaps the most important provision 
of this anti-trust law was the definite exemption of labour 
organizations from its operations. Likewise farmers' organ- 
izations, not intended for profit, were declared not to be 
trusts in the sense of the law. Thus injunctions against 
strikes and boycotting and attacks upon' farmers' organiza- 

>The beat short account of the Federal Reserve system known to the writer ia the article in 
the "Encyclopedia Americana/* Vol. 3, pp. 181-188, 


iions, so long subjects of bitter contentions, were rendered 

The only important recommendation which the President 
made that was not enacted into law was that which proposed 
that the Interstate Commerce Commission should regulate 
the issue of securities by the railway companies. All through 
the year 1913 and almos,t to the eiid of 1914 Mr. Wilson held 
Congress together, pressed far-reaching measures upon their , 
attention, and himself set the ,example of high devotion to 
the public interest. He assumed a gentle, optimistic tone in 
his communications to the legislators which was characteristic 
of him, although it was evident that he held men to their 
tasks and guided the lawmaking with a most resolute if not 
an iron hand. 

The great reforms had been definitely set up. The foreign, 
affairs of the Nation had been given a new turn. Not since 
the Declaration of Independence had any leader of the 
country more clearly voiced the ideals which Americans loved 
to think they believed in. The new tariff law not only re- 
duced the general average to a lower level than the country J 
had known since 1860, it placed wool, sugar, and meats upon 
the free list; and many other articles of common consumption 
came in free or paid a low duty. The Government was defi- 
nitely master not only of its own finances, but it controlled 
and regulated the money and credits of the country, which 
had neiver been true before, nor were any of the great countries 
of Europe so free from the domination of their financial 
groups. And almost from the first even the bankers them- 
selves acknowledged that the national finances were safe. 
On the trust issue equally far-reaching measures had been 
enacted and-- there was every reason to believe that no future 
turn of party history would upset them. 

■ *F. A. Ogg, "National Frogiess," »»d-i»». 


The President was the unquestioned leader of Congress; 
his method had justified itself and there was ample reason 
to believe that the country approved. In every fresh appeal 
to Congress Wilson had urged that he was seeking only to 
heal the wounds of business or endeavouring to do what 
thoughtful men had long since agreed should be done. He 
disparaged no one. He assumed the agreement of even big 
business men with the purport of his reforms. When he was 
ready to make a new move in Congress, he asked the members 
of the appropriate committees to meet him foi* discussion. 
The result was a matured legislative plan which was generally 
enacted into law very much as had been suggested. Al- 
though he acknowledged that many of his party leaders 
were far from democratic, he assumed them to be disposed 
to give democracy a trial. If any of them threatened to be 
recalcitrant, it was quietly intimated that he would have to 
"take the matter to the people." Not since the days of 
Jefferson had there been such a complete master of men in 

Yet the great programme might fail. The industrial 
belt, the leaders of the great cities, the former Republican 
and Progressive party chieftains, insisted that Wilson was 
only a minority president. They composed the majority. 
Those who were behind the President were ridiculed as pro- 
vincial Southerners, as sectionalists seeking only sectional 
interests. Great industry, so powerful in all the Northern 
states, connected with the old diplomacy of Europe, in full 
control of most of the metropolitan press, putting out its 
many billions' worth of goods a year and intimately con- 
nected with the banking systems of the world, was by no 
means ready to surrender. The Boston Transcript said that 
the New England interests had been flayed, that the country 
must simply endure the tariff for a while. The bankers of 


the Nation held a conference at Chicago when the Resene 
plan was before Congress and presented their demands for a 
single great bank, and most of the papers urged to the out- 
break of the great war that the new law must be a failure. 
Would all that had been done prove a failure? 

Only an election could determine the answer to that ques- 
tion. There was no doubt that Wilson was popular, or 
that he had fulfilled the promises of his party in the campaign 
of 1912, or that his reforms were just and in accordance with 
Democratic principles. It is not justice and democracy that 
determine the success or failure of pubHc men. There must 
be no great accidents and there must be repeated victories' 
at the polls. It has generally required three successful presi- 
dential elections in the United States to secure the success 
of any great reform movement. Could the minority Presi- 
dent meet that test? 


BUT before the first electoral test of the Wilson Ad- 
ministration could be made, other and very grave problems 
pressed upon the President for solution. The German 
Kaiser had been wont to boast that nothing should happen 
anywhere in the world without his consent. And there was 
opportunity enough for Grerman intervention in Mexico long 
before the break into Belgium in 1914. Although Wilson in- 
sisted in December, 1913, upon leaving the Mexicans to their 
own devices but continued the Taft embargo upon the sale 
of arms to the warring factions, European traders found ways 
to supply the needful arms and European statesmen recog- 
nized Huerta in spite of the President's known purpose never 
to do so. 

Before the winter of 1914 had passed Victoriana Car-' 
ranza, strongly supported by "General" Villa, made rapid 
headway against the usurper. In the hope of bringing about 
a better state of things than Huerta promised, Wilson 
lifted the embargo on arms and other supplies on February 
3, 1914. This operated in favour of Carranza, and of course 
the Huertistas put forth their utmost efforts to maintain 
themselves. A few days after this move by the President, 
some bluejackets of Admiral Mayo's squadron, lying off the 
coast of Tampico, went ashore to buy gasoline. They were 
arrested. Although the sailors were promptly released, 
Mayo demanded a public apology in the form of a salute to 



his flag. Huerta refused, and the matter was referred to 
Washington. Wilson now repeated the demand, and the 
dictator refused. A vigorous policy being set up, the 
President now presented an ultimatum which was ignored. 
When a German steamer bearing mihtary supplies approached 
Vera Cruz a day or two later, the President ordered the 
port to be seized. On April 21st, the principal port of Mex- 
ico fell almost undefended into American hands.* 

The followers of Huerta made violent outcry. General 
Carranza, a sort of protege of the United States, likewise 
made protest. Argentine, Brazil, and Chili looked upon the 
move as but the beginning of a war of conquest against 
Mexico. In spite of Wilson's earnest words at Mobile the 
preceding October, Latin -Americans everywhere doubted 
him. The President insisted that he was not warring upon 
Mexico and that he would do everything in his power 
to aid the distracted country. The so-called A.B.C. powers 
offered their assistance in the solution of the Mexican prob- 
lem. Wilson gladly accepted and &n July 15th, Huerta aban- v 
doned the country. On August 20th, Carranza entered the 
capital. It seemed that the long-desired end had been at- 
'tained. But Villa now declared war upon his former friend 
and set about organizing no^-thern Mexico in order to gain 
for himseK the coveted presidency. Wilson was sorely 
perplexed. Before the end of the year Carranza was com- 
pelled to abandon the city of Mexico and chaos worse con- 
founded prevailed all over the country. Now the extreme 
imperialists of the United States renewed their press cam- 
paign for immediate intervention and for ultimate annexa- 
tion. Wilson refused to enter upon such a drastic policy/ 

Once more the President had recourse to the governmei;its 
of South America. Argentine, Brazil, ChiliiyBolivia, Imi- 

>Brie{ sutemsnt of theK facte wiU be found in F. A. egg's "National nggress," W2-291. 


guay, and Guatemala sent delegates to a conference in Wash- 
ington in the hope that a satisfactory provisional govern- 
ment might be set up in Mexico. But Carranza regained 
control of the capital in October, 1915, and the various coun- 
tries concerned recognized him as the head of the de facto 
government of Mexico. Diplomatic relations were renewed; 
but Wilson expressed his doubt to Congress in December: 
"Whether we have benefited Mexico by the course we have 
pursued remains to be seen. Her fortunes are in her own 
hands. We have shown that we will not take advantage of 
her in her distress."^ 

In the midst of the difficulties of the Mexican situation, 
and just after the German war broke upon the world, Mr. 
Wilson was called upon to endure a personal ordeal such 
as must have told upon any man. Mrs. Wilson, his first 
wife, was a woman of the old Southern school, a member, 
like himself, of a prominent Presbyterian family of Georgia. 
She had been the maker of their home at Princeton and had 
shared the honours and struggles of his University presidency. 
They had been the centre of much national interest when they 
went to the White House; and their simple, democratic 
household in Washington had still further endeared Mrs. 
Wilson to the country. Now she was taken ill. Her case 
became serious in the summer of 1914, but no relief could be 
found and she died on August 6th in the most exciting days 
of the great war. The whole world felt for the President, and 
right-thinking folk everywhere regretted that so true a wo- 
man and typical an American must be taken in the very 
beginning of her husband's marvellous career. The stricken 
husband followed the remains to Rome, Georgia, the little 
town where she had lived when young Wilson won her hand 
twenty-nine years before. 

^Senate Journal^ 64th Congress, 1 Session, 6-7. 


In the Spring of 1914, when foreign pressure upon the 
Mexican embroglio seemed greater than the circumstances 
justified, Wilson sent Colonel Edward M. House, a very 
observant and thoughtful personal friend, to Berlin in the 
hope of ascertaining the purposes of belligerent German 
statesmen. The situation proved to be positively dangerous. 
At a great dinner high officials of the old regime talked to him 
as though war was at the very door. In Paris and London, on 
the contrary, the atmosphere was calm and the leaders would 
not believe that Germany meant anything more than the ac- 
customed bluster.^ But no one in Europe took the President 
seriously. They considered him an inexperienced idealist, if 
not a mere demagogue, and intimated that a year or two of 
experience would bring him to a more practical point of view. 

Colonel House returned, anxious as to the state of things, 
but hardly expecting the sudden outbreak that a few months 
was to reveal. On August 1, 1914, Germany declared war 
on Russia for her support of the Serbian campaign against 
Austro-German aggression. The next day all Europe was con- 
fronted with what had long been feared, a world war. General 
von Kluck, commander of the right wing of the great German 
army, prepared to the last shoe-lace, marched directly upon 
Paris, the first objective of German military strategy, talked 
of and discussed since 1871. Never was there a greater crisis, 
never before so vast a military force set in motion as if upon 
the "drop of the hat." Without hesitation or parley the 
Germans went through Belgium, giving military necessity as 
the excuse and adding cynically that treaties were but scraps 
of paper anyway.' At Li6ge Von Kluck was held for a short 
time; but he was only delayed. His army flung its right 

•Arthur Howden Smith, "The Real Colonel House," Chap-XIX. 

'It 10 only fair to say, however, that every great goTenunent engaged in the war against 
Germany, including the United States, has violated the plainest stipulation of txeaties. 


upon the French border in the neighbourhood of Namur and 
pressed hard upon every road toward the French capital. 
The initial move was to be completed in six weeks and from 
Paris terms were to be dictated to France before England 
could make her power felt. 

The French gathered troops in front of their capital, 
and the British sent their little army of a hundred thousand 
men to worry Von Kluck's right flank. The English forces 
were annihilated; but by some miraculous means the French 
broke the German drive at the Mame during the early 
days of September. Von Kluck was compelled to retreat 
thirty or forty miles and entrench. The first act in the 
terrible tragedy closed. A second r6le was pla,ying in the 
marshes of northeastern Germany where Von' Hindenburg 
drove hundreds of thousands of Russians to surrender in 
the Masurian lake region and won for himself the first 
place among German military men. At the same time 
Austria pressed in vain upon little Serbia. Cold weather 
came and the warring peoples of Europe settled down to 
their first winter in the trenches. 

Americans, all unaware of the tense state of things in the 
rest of the world, were amazed. They shuddered instinctively 
at the display of power by Germany. The excuse given for 
the invasion of Belgium, the idea that treaties were but scraps 
of paper, tended to make them opponents of the Kaiser and 
his army, if not of the German people. But the President 
declared that the country would be neutral and he even 
insisted upon neutrality of thought as well as word. Leading 
public men openly endorsed the policy, and Mr. Roosevelt 
told a visiting delegation of Belgians in the early autumn 
that no other line of procedure could be contemplated.^ 

1 W. R. Thayer's "Theodore Roosevelt, an Intimate Biography," Boaton, Ifllfl, seems to grosk 
this over; but the facts are too well known to be omitted. 


The German Ambassador, Johann von Bemstorff, returned 
to Washington from a visit to Berlin in the autumn. He 
talked like a victor. Only northeastern France was to be 
annexed to Germany. But of course the French colonies 
would not be returned. The Monroe Doctrine would be 
respected as it applied to South America. Canada, how- 
ever, had not remained neutral and her fate would there- 
fore be settled in Berlin.* It was plain that the fdrtunes 
of the United States would be greatly affected by the German 
war, if Germany should succeed. 

At the same time Doctor Bernhard Dernburg, a former 
member of the Grerman imperial cabinet and a man of high 
authority in his own country, began under the direction 
of the ambassador a campaign of propaganda that was 
designed to reconcile Americans to the new state of things 
in Europe. Scores, if not hundreds, of well-paid agents of 
Germany were turned loose upon the country to speak before 
^mive^sity audiences, chambers of commerce, and other organ- 
izations Ln which German-Americans were influential mem- 
bers. It was but a renewal of the campaign which men 
like Professor Kuhnemann had conducted a few years before 
m the Middle West.'' 

The greater German professors, led by Eduard Meyer, 
not only declared that the German war was forced upon 
Germany; they urged in speeches and in magaeine ar- 
ticles that the war was another struggle like that of Rome 
and Carthage; that Germany was the modem Rome and 
England the modem Carthage that must be forever de- 
stroyed. The German clergy proclaimed it a holy war and 
American-born Lutherans could not resist the call to render 

^Literary Digett, November 7, 1914. Gives press quotations. 

'W. B. Thayer> "Life of John Hay* "Hi Ch. 28, gives a good but exaggerated account of this 


moral assistance. In fact, Germans everywhere flocked to 
their churches with unwonted zeal to pray for the Kaiser and 
world-subjugation.* The Kaiser and the higher German 
oflicers both of the army and the navy made constant appeals 
of this sort. Junkers, industrial leaders, commercial men, 
like Herr Ballin of Hamburg, socialists, and women of all 
classes boasted of the unity of Germany, of the sacred war, 
of the duty and privilege to serve so noble a cause. Purpose, 
grim as death, and ambition, high as that of the fallen 
angels themselves, were proclaimed from every public pld.ce 
in the Fatherland. It was imperial Germany at her worst. 
Would she succeed? Would she win American public opin- 

That was, in fact, the great question. If she won, she 
would conquer the world. And there was every reason she 
should do so in 1914. For many years American students 
had been accustomed to study in German universities 
where indeed the best authorities in the world were to 
be found. Very many of these returned to their own coim- 
try unable to distinguish between the good and the bad in 
German civilization, and when the great war began they 
promptly took the side off autocracy.^ Naturally the 
close connection between American and German univer- 
sities led to the ready acceptance of the German world- 
propaganda in the elaborate system of exchange professor- 
ships that prevailed several years before 1914. The Ger- 
man Ambassador, Johann von BernstorfiE, was justified in 
the feeling that his country was very close to the academic 
world when within five years after his appointment to Wash- 

^Evidenced in almost all the newspapers that came from Germany. Larger American 
libraries have photostat files of German papers for the war years. 

'Some of the most distinguished of American scholars announced in public speech that 
France apd England were decadent nations and hence their time had come. 


ington he received the doctorate of laws from ten leading 
American universities.* 

In the business world it was not different. Germany 
was practically one vast business establishment, so per- 
fect was its organization. American manufacturers were 
captivated with the idea of German efficiency which was 
the result of the German habit of subordination and in- 
dustry. Few men labour so willingly and cheerfully under 
direction as do the Germans. This delighted men whose 
only object in life is the making of money. Consequently 
chambers of commerce and industrial associations in the 
country made a study of the German method. German 
consuls and German tradesmen in American cities were 
the most popular of all foreign business men. They at- 
tended formal dinners as guests of honour and they were 
not backward in receiving the tributes of their hosts to their 
country and its ideal institutions. The greatest of American 
bankers was received at court when he went to Berlin, and he 
showed his appreciation by giving the empress a necklace of 
incomparable beauty.^ 

The German vogue was even more evident in the United 
States army. From the time of the Franco-Prussian war 
American miUtary men admired the German system. Gen- 
erals Sherman and Sheridan set the pace. Major-General 
Emory Upton visited the Prussian camps and military estab- 
lishments soon after the close of the American Civil War and 
made reports urging the necessity of American imitation of 
the perfect machinery of destruction he had observed and 
studied. Elihu Root, under the direction of President Roose- 
velt, set up an American general staff quite like that which 

>A lilt of the univeraities conferring the degree will be found in "Who's Who in America,'! 

*1 give only one example of thia. There were many Americans of wealth who paid court ' 
in effective ways to the imperial regime in Berlin. 


managed the German part of the recent war. And young 
officers were set to work mapping imaginary campaigns in 
foreign coimtries, just as young German officers had done 
for decades. Military historical societies were organized, 
military magazines published, and even miKtary history de- 
partments were set up in old academic institutions. Major- 
General Upton's "Military Policy of the United States," a 
book which ridiculed the whole history of the country on the 
ground of its martial inefficiency, was made a sort of bible at 
West Point.* It is still the favourite book of all the army 
camps. Its ideal is the conscription system which had 
wrought so much for Germany in the Bismarckian period. 
Before the great war the whole tone of the army was Prussian, 
even down to the styles of boots that officers must wear to 
distinguish them from "buck" privates. 

Of even more importance was the influence of imperial Ger- 
many amongthe large German population of the United States. 
Great numbers of Germans had emigrated to the country to 
escape the rigours of the growing aristocratic system of their 
native land. Very many of these, especially those who came 
before the Civil War, were idealists of a high type. Carl 
Schurz was probably the best representative of these. They 
thought to find in America the freedom, Hberty, as men used 
to say, that men could not have in Europe. But Germans 
are industrious and enterprising. They quickly made small 
or great fortunes. A man with a fortune has a hard struggle 
keeping faith with ideals or democracy. The Germans in the 
United States were tempted above their ability to resist. 

Throughout the long boom period of 1866 to 1914, every- 
body in the North seemed to get rich. A man had but to 

^This work was the result of the writer's visit to Germany, General Sherman wished it 
published at public expense about 1889. Elihu Root secured its publication as a public docu* 
meut in 1908. 


Wy a few acres of ground, fairly distributed about tjie^ow- 
mg cities, and he would grow rich in^ spite of hiffiiself. And 
as the Americans grew rich, they paid slight homage to that 
depiocracy their fathers had worshipped. They rather set 
themselves to the task of thwarting democracy. The Ger- 
mans could not but follow the example. There was not a 
dynasty worship in America, but there was a cult of success, 
of devotion to riches that equalled in its influence upon success- 
ful newcomers that worship of the HohenzoUerns which char- 
acterized Bismarckian Germany. The whole drift of the two 
generations which followed 1866, especially in the North, 
was away from democracy.^ The Germans were easily 
caught in the drift. It meant the breaking up of whatever 
of idealism they had been able to maintain. 

Moreover, successful Germans loved to revisit the ancient 
fatherland. There they made judicious display of their 
easily won wealth, and their kinsmen and friends of kins- 
men looked on with ravished countenances. They talked 
of the scores of great German names in the American 
world of business and these talked of the fine social system 
which Germany maintained, a land where every man knew 
his place and servants behaved themselves as servants should 
behave. It was a case of mutual admiration.* German- 
Americans ceased to condenm the rigorous class system of 
their home country. They rather Uked it since they had 
become wealthy. The better-knovra Grermans who returned 
were received in aristocratic circles. Carl Schurz, who had a 
price set upon his head in 1850, returned often to Berlin in 
later years and was honoured by imperialism itself. He lost 
his hatred of autocracy. He rejoiced in the greatness of the 

'"The Education of Henry Adams/' BostoUf 1918, ia througliout a stinging comment upon 

'"Memoirs ot Henry Villsrd," II, 348-349. 


power that had once clamoured for his blood. And there 
were thousands of the same faith. American-born Germans 
became better Germans than their fathers had been, even 
though they did not speak the German language with 

When university presidents talked to newspaper reporters 
about the honours they received from the Kaiser, when the 
greatest business men were obsequious in Berlin, and when 
high army officers but reflected the Prussian model, how 
might ordinary German-Americans escape the contagion? 
They did not. Only the poorer element, the workers in the 
mills, and the farmers, neither of whom ever cut any great 
figure on return trips to their ancient homes, escaped, al- 
though they, too, naturally felt a warmer place in their hearts 
for Germany than they could feel even for the best liberalism 
of which they could learn anything in England or France. 
The way was surely prepared for the German propaganda 
when the great war drew nigh. And never did a country make 
more use of its opportunity than did the German imperialists 
before "der Tag."^ A German- American alliance was organ- 
nized to press the cause of Germany upon all possible occa- 
sions. Germanistic societies were set up and distinguished 
Americans of native ancestry were made honorary mem- 
bers. Professors of the German language and literature in 
the universities failed to distinguish between the subjects 
they taught and the cause the Hohenzollern dynasty repre- 
sented. Members of the older New England, and even 
Southern, famiUes became identified with these societies and 
better Germans than democrats. There was indeed good 
reason for men to believe that hundreds of thousands of Ger- 

Wer Tag waa a term frequently used by German students and others to indicatft when the 
world war was to begin. 


man- Americans would accept the unprecedented Delbrueck 
law of 1913, which set up a plan of double citizenship for Ger- 
mans in foreign coim tries whereby they could be citizens under 
other sovereignties but stiU serve the Kaiser."^ 

It became plain before the end of 1914 that the mainte- 
nance of neutrality would be quite as difficult in the early 
twentieth century as it had been in the late eighteenth when 
the French revolution set Europe on fire. 

But neutrality became as difficult a matter from another 
angle as it was from that of the German-American propa- 
ganda. Business men quickly saw the opportimity of a 
great war. They sought at once to sell their goods in every 
market of the world. Britain set up a blockade against the 
central powers, Germany and Austria. Here was indeed 
cause for trouble. The price of foodstuffs rose at once. Ger- 
many received her share for a time, but when the imperial 
government established a food control, England declared 
foodstuffs consigned to Germany contraband of war. Meat 
packers and grain exporters at once made complaint in Wash- 
ington. Wilson argued with the British authorities as ur- 
gently as the precedents of the Civil War would allow. When 
England refused to yield, prominent American lawyers went 
to London to fight the blockade. They did not quite succeed, 
but they became potential friends of Germany in the days 
that were to come. Wilson pressed more strenuously for the 
rights of trade in the first and second years of the war than be- 
came an ardent friend of democracy; but business men and 
their allies the bankers can make difficulties for government 
in any country that must be avoided or parried." 

1" Qtsetzaammhmg fiir die Komgliche Preuasiache Slaaien" 1911-1914, pp. 654-57. Discussion 
of the law pro and con in Yale Law Review No. 27, p. 31S and 479, et seq. See also ATnerican 
Journal of International Law, 1914, 914-17. 

'All through 1915 the Secretary of State argued with the British Foreign Office about the 
rights of -neutrals. 


The war, nevertheless, gave a great impetus to American 
foreign trade. Whatever was lost in the direct commerce 
with Germany was regained in the volume of trade with 
near-by neutrals, and the export of munitions to France and 
England soon amounted to hundreds of millions per year. 
The annual output of industry when Wilson entered tie 
presidency was somewhat more than twenty billions.* The 
total of foreign e3q)orts and imports was about two billions a 
year. In 1917, when Wilson recommended war, the output 
of American industry was thirty bilUons a year and the total 
of foreign trade approached six billions.^ When the great war 
began American business men and corporations owed Euro- 
peans at least four billions and the gold balances were a little 
difficult to maintain. When the country went to war in 
1917, all the four billions of debt had been paid, Europe 
owed large sums to Americans, and the great gold reserves 
of the world were on this side of the Atlantic. What mat- 
tered it now if the tariff were reduced and the banks were 
brought under strict Federal control? It was no longer a 
problem of competing imports that frightened industrial 
men. The representatives of Britain, France, Italy, Russia, 
and Japan hung about the antechambers of New York banks 
seeking loans upon any terms. Deprived of a directing hand 
in national affairs, the leaders of industry and the heads of 
the banks simply took over for a time the economic affairs of 
the world. Was there ever such a revolution wrought over- 

At once the workers felt the swell. Immigration stopped. 
The demand for fresh labour increased two-fold. The suc- 
cess of the allied governments of western Europe depended 
upon the intensity and regularity of American labour. If 

^"Abstract of the Census," 1910, page 445. 
'"American Yearbook," 1917, Chapter XII. 


our railway system failed to bear the new burdens of trade, 
the Germans would win the war. All "slack" labour of the 
cities was taken up. More men worked at night than 
ever before. Daylight saving was resorted to. Increasing 
numbers of women entered industry. Servants became 
scarce and the prices for domestic service quickly rose to the 
point that middle-class folk could not aflford servants. Gen- 
^ tie hands learned the uses of "Dutch cleanser" and college' 
professors scrubbed bathroom floors instead of chasing golf 
balls over eighteen-hole links. The presence of a household 
servant became again evidence of economic rather than social 

Of course Labour organized. Samuel Gompers, the presi- 
dent of the American Federation of Labour, was almost as 
important a figure in the world as Woodrow Wilson. Labour 
unions increased their membership beyond all former totals 
and Labour leaders realized for the first time in American 
histoiy that they were real powers in the world.^ Farm work- 
ers from the West and Negroes from the cotton fields were 
drawn by the hundreds of thousands to the industrial cities. 
In many regions people talked of importing Chinese coolies 
to aid in the rougher tasks of the country. In Chicago the 
Negro problem became real and out of it grew a political ma- 
chine that is not likely to break down in years to come, an 
organization of German-Swedish-Negro and even Irish voters 
that quickly showed its strength. In east St. Louis riots 
resulted from the great influx of Negroes. But in spite of all 
the changes and the disturbances and the constantly rising 
cost of labour, the industrial pace was greatly hastened, rail- 
road cars carried bigger loads than ever before, and the grain- 
and meat-producing states increased their exports, if only by 
a small margin. Only the cotton and sugar producers failed 

'•' AmeriMn Yearbook," 1917, Chapter XV. 


to find workers to keep up their former pace. Women and 
boys worked in the cotton fields, ran elevators and trolleys. 
Every class of people learned what a small place is the modem 
world; they began to see in spite of themselves that the 
United States was involved in the European struggle. 

In the midst of this swirl of financial,.industrial, and agricul- 
tural readjustment what was a mere government to do? 
Wilson sought to meet the needs of industry by pressing upon 
Congress in the autumn of 1914 a shipping bill which, if 
passed, must have supplied the country with the sorely 
needed tonnage of 1918. Not one tenth of the exports of 
the country could be carried in American ships. Britain 
was compelled to employ half her shipping for war purposes. 
The President and the Secretary of the Treasury urged Con- 
gress from 1914 to 1916 to pass some measure. Congress 
resisted. Even the representatives of Great Britain objected 
lest the United States buy the German tonnage then in 
American waters! Eastern senators who, in 1919, attacked 
the President every day for unwisdom upon every possible 
subject then attacked him for proposing to do the very thing 
that all parties united to do later at a cost of a billion dol- 
lars.i It was pitiable to witness the jealousies of otherwise 
good men in a crisis like that; but it is perhaps ever so in 
democratic countries. 

Wilson was more successful in another of his great re- 
forms. From the very first days of his term he had con- 
templated the enactment of a farm loan, or farmers' aid, law 
that should enable tenants to purchase land for themselves. 
Since 1880 tenantry had been rapidly increasing in every 
state of the Union. If a law could be passed which would 
give poor, inarticulate folk the benefit of low rates of interest, 
instead of the very high rates they had ever paid, and long- 

•" American Yearbook," 1917, ChapterlXIX. 


term credit, even very simple men might become inde- 
pendent and thus make good democratic elements in the 

On July 17, 1916, the Farm Loan Act was passed. It pro- 
vided for farmers' banks in each of the Federal Reserve 
districts, but in different cities from those in which the re- 
serve banks were located. It set up machinery for the 
ascertaining of land values, the needs of farmers, and the 
loans to those who wished to purchase lands. The Federal 
land banks were to have a capital each of $750,000 which 
might be increased to meet the growth of business. At 
the head of the system there was a Federal Farm Loan Board 
which was to guide the system, without intervention of the 
Federal courts, and recommend to the Government changes 
of the law and of the policy thus initiated. It was another of 
those constructive measures, like the Clayton Antitrust Law, 
which provided the machinery to make effectual the measures 
legally set up. And the people of the country, acting through 
the Secretary of the Treasury who was to be the head of the 
Farm Loan Board, would thus supervise the law and lend 
assistance to the men who make the nation's bread. ^ 

Another proposal of equally far-reaching effect was already 
before Congress. The war increased men's incomes in un- 
precedented manner. New millionaires were created by 
the thousands. Yet the Government's income decHned 
more than a hundred millions a year. Politicians, who were 
interested in the old regime, declared the shortage was due 
to the bad Democratic tariff. Thoughtful men everywhere 
knew otherwise. But the instant needs of the Treasury 
compelled a restoration of tariff taxes on certain items, Uke 
sugar, in order to meet actual deficits. Wilson acquiesced 

lA good brief account of the Federal Farm Loan Act will be found in "The Encyclopedia 
Americana," U, p. 78. 


in this doubtful makeshift only to press the more effectively 
for a change of the financial poUcy of the country. Since 
the days of Washington indirect taxes had been the resort of 
the Treasury, for the reason that the Federal government, as 
compared with the state governments, was not suflSciently 
popular to endure a heavy direct tax. 

In 1893, President Cleveland caused an income tax to be 
enacted. The Supreme Court vetoed it, as I have already 
pointed out. In 1913 an amendment to the Federal consti- 
tution was ratified. A change of the national tax policy and 
a practical abandonment of the tariff as a means of raising 
revenue had already been made tentatively in the Under- 
wood tariff. But a party that had not a full popular ma- 
jority behind it might not so readily do what all political 
scientists knew to be right and proper. Now that the Euro- 
pean war had so completely upset the old system and the 
national psychology was directed at other and very vital 
measures, the time was ripe for the change. In September, 
1916, Congress enacted upon the suggestion of the President 
the first income tax law that was really aimed at the reform 
of the old system. 

This law left the minimum untaxed income at $3,000 as 
did the former statute. But it laid sm-taxes upon incomes 
that ranged above $40,000, upon the profits of munitions 
makers, and especially upon inheritances from estates of a 
million or above. The intention of the law was to do what 
justice would have required to be done in 1789, to raise the 
larger part of the national income directly from those who 
were most able to pay and not indirectly from consumers who 
must pay upon the necessaries of life.* At any other time 
in American history, with the possible exception of the Civil 
War years, the passage of any such law would have ruined 

'"U. S. Statutes at Large," XXXIX, PL 1( page 2. 


the leaders who sponsored it. As it was, the new policy was 
declared to be the product of sectional politicians, like Mr. 
Claude Kitchin, who sought to lay the burden of national 
taxes upon the Northern people. In the very nature of 
things the tax must be paid by the industrial communities,' 
But for the confusion of war time there would have been a 
bitter attack upon Wilson for this measiu-e. 

The new income tax law was hardly on the statute book 
before a worse thing befell. The scarcity of labour and the 
vital r61e of workingmen in the great war gave American 
labour leaders an importance, as I have already indicated, 
that no president could ignore; in fact, no government of 
Europe dared ignore the workers there, not even the Kaiser 
himself. In the summer of 1916 the brotherhoods of Amer- 
ican railway engineers, firemen, and conductors determined 
to bring on a strike which should tie up every business in the 
country, a strike which would, in fact, have given Germany 
the victory if persisted in for a considerable period. The 
railway men asked only for an eight-hour day. The railway 
managers refused to grant the demand. The country be- 
came intensely anxious. The representatives of the allied 
governments of western Europe were not less anxious. If 
the strike came there would be no relief through injunctions of 
Federal courts, as had been the case in the past, for the recent 
Clayton Antitrust Law exempted strikes from that sort of 
interference. The President asked for an arbitration as 
provided by existing law. The Laboiu" leaders, perfectly con- 
scious of their strength, refused to arbitrate.^ On August 
29th, when only a week remained before the crisis would 
begin, Wilson went before Congress and almost demanded 

The working of the law may be studied in' "Statistics of Income." Published by the 
Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 1918. 
'F. A. Ogg, "National Progress," 353-360. 


the immediate passage of what has since been known as the 
Adamson Law. 

In his proposals, Wilson definitely took the side of La- 
bour in its long struggle with Capital. He urged the eight- 
^hour day, an increase of the powers of the Interstate Com- 
merce Commission over railway matters so that an inves- 
tigation of the value of railway properties might be made to 
determine future rates, the prohibition of future strikes on 
railways without a prior public investigation, and the author- 
ization of the president to seize and operate the roads in 
case of military^ necessity. In such contingency the Govern- 
ment was to take control of the railways, command railway 
employes, and keep the channels of interstate commerce open 
very much as the general of an army commands in time of 

Radical and far-reaching as these recommendations were, 
they became law within the short time of a week with the 
exception that Congress refused to set up machinery for deal- 
ing with strikes. There was instant need of all he asked. The 
government of the whole people could not allow the country 
to be brought into utter chaos either by strikers or owners of 
railway properties. In this measure, the President took for 
the time the point of view of Labour; but he also tried to 
provide a definite legal procedure in case of future difficulty. 
The Government imder the Adamson Law as originally pro- 
posed would have found its position secure and Labour must 
have recognized its duty to the public."^^ 

Very conservative men who had never recognized Labour 
as an organized body of workers hastened to procure from 
the courts a pronouncement upon the constitutionaUty of 
the law. Certain Labour men were quite willing to see the 

'A britf of the law will be found in the "American Yearbook," 1916, p. 80. The act ia in 
"U. S. Statutes," XXXIX, pt. I, pp. ni-m. 


matter tested for they did not like the idea of so complete a 
recognition of the power of the Government to control work- 
ingmen as was given in the law. Judge Hook of the United 
States circuit court of Kansas City declared the law uncon- 
stitutional on November 22, 1916. The case was quickly 
taken to the Supreme Court which, perhaps influenced by the 
atmosphere of war, decided in favour of the law. The long- 
disputed question of the power of the Government over busi- 
ness and labour came to an end. The interests of the people 
was pronounced to be the supreme end of government.^ 

From outward appearance the President had won and it 
looked as if all branches of the Government were at last in 
harmony. Never had the coiu-ts seemed to catch the pace 
of the country quite so well. It was, in fact, not so harmoni- 
ous as it appeared to the world. American participation 
in the great war was so near that more people began to feel 
the spirit of cooperation. Indeed there were other questions 
on which disagreement and bitter partisanship were evident. 

The settlement of the Mexican upheaval which seemed to 
have been made in the autumn of 1915 was only tentative. 
In the midst of the German war the |Kaiser, Ambassador von 
Bemstorff , and the German minister in Mexico did what they 
could to disturb the relations of the countries in order that the 
United States might have troubles enough at home and hence 
not be able to ship so much ammunition to Europe. A worse 
diflicidty was that which imperialists of the United States 
created who wished to compel the Government to intervene in 
Mexico and ultimately take possession of the country. Many 
newspapers never lost an opportunity to make difficulty 
for the President.^ And Villa was always ready to deceive 

^The decision turned upon a vote of five to four, but unlike other close votes of the court in 
the pBsti this one seems to have been accepted as final by the country. 
*Liierarj/ Digeat, July 6, 1916. Gives newspaper comment. 


assistance or encouragement in his endeavours to unseat 

In March, 1916, Villa led several hundred of his motley 
soldiers across the border and fell unawares upon the httle 
town of Columbus, New Mexico, killing several inhabitants 
and doing great damage to property. Had the time come 
at last for that long-sought intervention? Would the Presi- 
dent surrender to the more selfish elements of his own country 
and ' ' clean up Mexico ' ' ? The Chicago Tribune now declared 
that Mexico was a ripe apple, ready for the picking. Senator 
Fall of New Mexico and the Governor of Texas thought the 
time had come to make an end of they: unruly neighbour. 
Wilson, still intent upon leaving Mexico to solve her own 
problems, sent Brigadier-General John J. Pershing with a 
small army to punish Villa. The wily Mexican chieftain 
could not be found. A second raid occiured in May, 1916, 
while the American Government^was negotiating with Car- 
ranza in solemn manner about the anomalous situation. The 
President then called upon the border states to get their 
militia in readiness. The National Guard was next sent to 
the Southern border to drill and be held in readiness for 
eventuahties. Before the summer closed about 150,000 men 
were called into service, and both the Germans abroad and 
the imperialists at home expected the United States would 
become involved in a troublesome war in Mexico. ^ 

But Wilson simply patrolled the long frontier and sent 
minor expeditions into Mexico to punish raids and keep the 
peace, if such a state of things could be called peace. Villa 
continued to elude every effort to capture him and rems^ined 
a disturbing factor in the international situation till the very 

^All the periodicala and newspapers give evidence of this. F. A. Ogg, in "National Progress/* 
302.3041 gives a good summary of the state of things although his treatment of tiie President*! 
policy is rather grudging. 


entry of the United States into the European war. Carranza, 
the recognized head of the Mexican Government, protested 
all the while that he would bring about a settled state of 
things and put a stop to the raids into the United States. 
His position was indeed difficult. President Wilson met the 
Carranza authorities more than half way, continued to allow 
mimitions to be shipped to the city of Mexico to be used 
against Villa, and agreed to various conferences looking to a 
solution of the difficulties on the frontier. The first of these 
conferences was held at El Paso from April 29 to May 2, 1916. 
But as the Mexicans demanded immediate withdrawal of 
troops without giving any evidence that they would be able 
to maintain peace on their side of the international border 
nothing came of the discussions. 

In a long statement to Carranza of June 20th, President Wil- 
son rehearsed the whole Mexican situation. This explana- 
tion of the American policy was Ukewise given to the repre- 
sentatives of the other Latin governments in Washington.' 
It shows, above all, President Wilson's patience and set pur- 
pose not to interfere in Mexican affairs. He would have the 
Mexicans set their own house in order. He would even 
sacrifice the just and reasonable interests of Americans in the 
troubled region rather than render aid to the rapacious de- 
mands of imperialists who wished to exploit and even annex 
the country. Carranza replied to this appeal with a request 
for a joint commission to work out a solution of the Mexican 

The proposition was accepted. Three Mexican commis- 
sioners met Messrs. Franklin K. Lane, George Gray, and 
John R. Mott first at New London and later at Atlantic 
City during the late summer and autumn of 1916. Many 
matters connected with the long Mexican tragedy were 

'"Americui Yearbook," 1916, 82-84. 


discussed frankly and an agreement arrived at on November 
24th. But General Carranza still manifested a jealousy and a 
petty disposition now to accept and now to reject arrangements 
made by the commissioners. Before the end of the year he 
definitely announced that nothing was accepted, and all the 
negotiations of the preceding autumn came to naught. But 
since the chronic disorders of the Mexican frontier were im- 
proving, President Wilson was constrained to leave matters 
there to later developments. In all these negotiations it 
was evident not only that the President wished to be just 
and fair but that General Carranza had to do with a people 
that was poor, ignorant, and convinced that the people of the 
United States meant to seize their resources and even the 
country itself. During three quarters of a century the con- 
duct of the Government in Washington had given excuse 
for such fears. But bigger issues than those of the Mexican 
frontier were daily pressing for solution. 

Busy as the country was in 1915 with the Mexican com- 
plications, with the growing labour disturbances due to the 
great war, with the manufacture of mimitions, and the in- 
creasing difficulty of maintaining neutrality in such a war as 
Germany insisted upon conducting, there came a personal 
romance in the President's life. And a romance in the White 
House must always interest the people of the country. On 
December 18, 1915, Mr. Wilson was married in simple but 
dignified ceremony to Mrs. Edith Boiling Gait, a prominent 
woman of Washington City and a member of an old Virginia 
family. The couple went away for a short stay at the famous 
Hot Springs of Virginia, where Virginians had spent honey- 
moons for a century or more. Then the second Mrs. Wilson 
settled down to the life of the White House and to making 
for the sore-troubled President the best home of which she 
was capable, a service of real importance to the country for 


Mr. Wilson is the most domestic of men and loves above all 
a quiet and gentle fireside. In spite of little jealousies that 
seem to have disturbed the minds of some society folk of New 
York and Washington itself, anyone who has known anything 
of the inside life of the President's home will bear witness to 
its perfect beauty and taste. There the family circle is simply 
the family circle, and Mrs. Wilson is and has been every 
day the servant of the country in that she has smoothed the 
few hours the harassed President has spent these last five 
years in the quiet of his household. 

Little as the marriage of the President properly has to do 
with the President's official duties, so many people showed a 
gi'owing interest in Mrs. Wilson that she accompanied him 
on his tour of the country in January of 1916 when he sought 
to know the mind of the people about the great war and 
possible preparations for American participation. She was 
received with great enthusiasm in Chicago and elsewhere. 
Since that time she has been an almost constant companion 
of Mr. Wilson on his trips, to the Paris conference and on his 
Western tour on behalf of the league of nations. Even the 
marriage was not without influence in the campaign of 1916 
when so many things were thrust into a situation already 
too tangled for most folk to comprehend with ease. 


AFTER all the remarkable laws that President Wilson 
was able to induce Congress and the industrial section of the 
country to pass and accept, it was by no means certain that 
he would be reelected and thus enabled to finish his task and 
leave the nation convalescent from its half century of eco- 
nomic debauch. Wilson knew, as any political scientist knows, 
that four years in office, either in the United States or Eng- 
land, is not enough to set a great reform movement firmly 
upon the ways of history. The platform on which Wilson 
was elected contained a "plank" which denounced second 
terms in the White House. There is no doubt that Mr. 
Bryan who wrote the platform believed then in the single- 
term idea. Wilson did not believe in it and before he was 
inaugurated he boldly, if not then pubKcly, declared, in a letter 
to be submitted to Democratic members of Congress, that he 
would oppose the constitutional amendment then being pre- 
pared limiting every president to a single term.^ 

The ideal thing would have been for the President and 
his party to submit their work to the country and ask a return 
to power on the promise that they would try to complete the 
task. They certainly had kept the promises of the cam- 
paign of 1912. The tariflf had been reduced. There was an 

iHenry Jones Ford, "Woodrow Wilson," 319. It may be worth while to remember that 
Jackson made his campaign of 1828 very largely upon the single-term ide^. His violatioB ol 
the public pledge was a great cause of the crisis with South Carolina. 1832-18^3. 



expert tariflf board to study the tariff and help common men 
to understand the subject. The finances of the country had 
really been reformed and there was a national banking board 
to make the reforms effective. The old trust muddle had 
been improved and there was a board of moderate men to 
study business and make recommendations as to what should 
be done with corporations that seem to seek imsocial ends. 
There were many other and even very important things 
being done in the same spirit as the various national con- 
ventions were assembling in the summer of 1916. Wilson 
had certainly a good case. No other president ever had a 
better one.^ 

But Wilson, the life-long student of domestic problems, 
the reformer of industrial abuses, was not to be tried upon 
his merits. The great war in Europe broke upon him in the 
midst of his exacting tasks. He must of necessity become 
an expert in the comphcated and age-long political and social 
struggles of Germany, France, and England. There was no 
escape from it, and he knew that\no chancellery in Europe had 
anything more than polite respect for him or his aspirations. 
He was to them a novice; perhaps he wovdd become a menace, 
if he continued to lead so great a part of the modern world as 
the United States.' 

It was this dread of being diverted from his main business, 
this dread of becoming entangled in the meshes of European 
affairs that lent so much earnestness to his repeated an- 
nouncements of American neutrality. But he could not be 
neutral; the country had passed the stage in its history where 
it could remain aloof when world wars were being waged. I 
have shown how great was the industrial response to the war, 

'Read Henry Adams's, "History of the United States," New York, 1889, HI, Chapter XV, 
for a parallel. 

^Tfae knowledge of this European opinion of himself was one of the reasons for Wilson's 
proposed absolute neutrality so bitterly condemned by some Americans. 


how many billions of dollars were being diverted toward 
American coffers by the war. The British blockade, becom- 
ing more effective every day, barred the way of American 
goods to Germany and even to neutral countries. Hoke 
Smith and a score of Southern senators and representatives 
urged him to protest against the blockade. Representatives 
of the packers of Chicago and the farmers of the Northwest 
urged him to open the way to hungry markets for their goods. 
No matter how clearly he as a historian might recall the policy 
of Abraham Lincoln on the problems of blockades — and the 
British policy in 1914 was almost identical with that of the 
United States in 1861— he must respond to the loud demands 
of business men and farmers who cared little for history or pre- 
cedents. He made his fight during the autumn of 1914 and 
the winter of 1915 against all the more drastic phases of the 
British blockade, against British interference with cargoes 
bound for neutral ports, but known to be on the way to 
Germany; against searching American mail pouches, al- 
though he knew the Germans in the United States were send- 
ing money or credits to their kinsmen in Europe; against 
blacklisting American commercial houses, even when these 
were known to be German firms to all intents and purposes. 
It was his duty; he did it as best he could, although, as a man 
of insight, he must have felt that he was weakening the arm 
of the one great power that barred the way of imperial Ger- 
many to world mastery.! 

But Germany could not leave matters to take their course 
either in Europe or in America. Once having drawn the sword 
she must win or have all mankind later call her to account 
for the cruel philosophy of might which she had taught since 
Bismarck. The Kaiser in a special letter to the President 

'The protests will be found in Robinson and West, "The Foreign Policy ot Woodrow Wilson," 
230, et aeq. 


appealed to Americans to witness the German innocence of 
the British and Belgian charges of cruelty and want of good 
faith. Wilhelm talked and wrote in those days as though he 
were fighting a crusade for some noble cause, and the German 
people prayed and preached as though they were the chosen 
people of all the world. They could not even allow a ques- 
tion of their high and humane motives in the neutral world. 
They set to work to counteract the effects of the British 
blockade. They set up piu-chasing agencies in the United 
States; they made connections with American and even 
Canadian banking houses for the transfer of credits; they 
formed great associations in all the leading cities of the 
United States whose business it was to aid the German am- 
bassador in Washington in everything he undertook. They 
set up newspapers, bought old newspapers, made connections 
with (William Randolph Hearsfl, organized university pro- 
fessors to speak for the German cause, and held labour meet- 
ings to protest against all wars. The leading brewers united 
with the University organization to protest against the ship- 
ment of arms to the Allies, to persuade members of Congress 
to lay an embargo upon the shipment of munitions to Europe, 
and they made desperate efforts to get the ear of the Presi- 
dent himself. The millions of money raised by loans among 
German-Americans or sent directly from Berlin was used 
in this work or in fomenting strikes, laying bombs in manu- 
facturing plants, upon ships about to depart for England, or 
even in the capitol in Washington.' Representative men, 
like Frank Buchanan of Illinois, a member of the House; 
Charles Nagel of St Louis, a former member of the Cabinet, 
and many others lent enthusiastic aid to this work to the very 
day that the United States entered the great war. 

^Names of men involved or deeds actually performed will be found 'm "Hearings " of the 
Jadiciary Committee of the Senate, 6Stb Congress, 2nd and Srd Sessions. Three volumes of 
valuable testimony. 


But these measures were not sufficient. On February 
6, 1915, the German Government proclaimed a submarine 
blockade of the British Isles. After the 18th of February 
commanders of submarines were to sink on sight the ships 
of the allied peoples and neutral ships must take care lest 
they, too, fall victims to the new ruthlessness. It was a 
question whether British and neutral seamen could be fright- 
ened from the ocean, not so much an expectation that Ger- 
man commanders would be compelled to continue this bloody 
work of sinking friend and foe upon ships going about their 
lawful business. It was expected that men would simply 
cease taking the risks and save themselves, leaving England 
to'starve or yield. 

Wilson made earnest protest on February 10th. Germany 
must take care not to destroy American lives or sink American 
ships. Ten days later he sent a memorandum to both Ger- 
many and England asking them to give up submarines and 
mines, except in and about harbours, and to cease the cruel 
practice of employing neutral flags as decoys. He even asked 
Britain to allow foodstuffs to be sent into Germany for the 
civil population under German guarantee that it should not 
be sent to the armies.^ If these propositions had been ac- 
cepted, Grermany must have won the war and the President's 
own policy must have given him poignant regret. 

But while the President held this rather gentle if dan- 
gerous course, the opposition prodded him daily to compel 
England to lift her blockade. Business communities whose 
leaders most keenly feared the German menace were the 
loudest in their demands. The Boston Transcript urged the 
Government to protest more vigorously; the Pittsburg 
Leader wished shipments of all kinds stopped, then the war 
would come to an end, its editor insisted; even the New York 

■Bobmson and West, "Foreign Policy of Woodrow Wilson," 24S-46. 


World declared all neutral rights were being sacrificed.^ 
Where Wilson was most bitterly hated, press opinion seemed 
to condemn the loudest his moderate policy toward England. 

In the midst of this chaos came the news on May 7, 1915, 
that the Lusitania, one of the great transatlantic liners, 
had been sunk off the coast of Ireland and that more 
than a hundred American lives had been lost. A few days 
later came the story from Germany that the German 
people were rejoicing at the fine stroke of its submarine 
captain.^ Certainly the German-American press, includiiig 
the Staats-Zeitung of New York, defended the act. Americans 
as a rule shuddered. They had not believed that the Germans 
would ever be as cruel as their public announcements pro- 
claimed. The Germans were thus compelled to go on since 
neither the British sailors nor the workers upon neutral ships 
would confess themselves cowards and keep off the seas. 
The German announcements that it was to be another Rome- 
Carthage struggle were coming true. Those Americans who 
knew little about Europe and only the day before were as- 
sailing Wilson for supposed surrender to England' now asked 
themselves soberly what would be the state of a world under j 
the hegemony of a nation that rejoiced in the Lusitania per-/ 
formance as heroic. 

Wilson restrained pubUc excitement. He allowed thq 
phrase "too proud to fight" to slip into a speech he made to i 
gathering of immigrants in Philadelphia a day or two lateri 
His keen judgment of the state of things in the United State^, 
as well as in the world, enabled him to see how great won 

^A review of this opinion will be found in The lAUrary Digest for March 27, 1915. 

^Ambassador Gerard confirmed the story in his book "My Four Years in Germany,' 
York, 1917. 

The Hearst papers, with their "twenty million readers,'' were the most unreasoning op- 
ponents of the President. ' T 

'Bobinson and West, S56, An address made in New York twenty days before had contjained 
the same expression. 


have been the risk of going to war in the spring of 1915. 
Hence he maintained his poise. He wrote a series of notes 
during the months of May and June in which he made solemn 
protest that the destruction of human lives by Germany was 
quite a different thing from the destruction of property by 
England; he threatened war in the event that ruthless sub- 
marine attacks continued to endanger life upon the sea. He 
never for a moment yielded to the German contention that 
America must first compel Britain to remedy the wrongs of 
the blockade before she corrected the evils of the submarine.* 

A discouraging fact to those who beKeve in democratic 
government was the violent attack upon the President be- 
cause of his "weasel-worded" notes from the very papers 
whose editors had been denouncing him because he did not 
break the British blockade. And these men and papers turned 
now to constant criticism because the Administration did not 
go to war with Mexico at the very moment when Germany 
was intriguing to that end. People who exerted large in- 
fluence seemed to think that a great and burdensome struggle 
with the poor Mexicans, at the moment when the European 
war was about to spread to American shores, ought to be 
glibly undertaken. Wilson kept out of war, he insisted upon 
the strictest neutrality throughout the years 1915 and 1916. 
But everybody felt that war might come any day; none felt it 
more keenly than theJPresident. 

Thus the task of reforming the abuses and tyrannies of 
great industrial corporations, the most important work that 
could be done by an American statesman, was to be halted by 
the German Emperor. The election of 1916 would turn, then, 
not upon the merits of the work that the President and his 

'Robinson and West give the texts o{ the President's notes. The German notes will be 
found in "American Diplomatic Correspondence on the European War," No. i, a government 
document, 1917. 


colleagues had done, but upon the narrow margins of the 
European game of war diplomacy; or, what was the same 
thing, upon the use that American pohticians might make of 
the European crisis. Truly, it often happens that merit does 
not influence the com-se of history or the success of a 
leader. Wilson was fuUy alive to the difficulty of his 
situation; every prominent politician of the two factions of 
the old RepubUcan party was likewise "keen" to make use of 
new weapons.* 

The leaders of the conservative wing of the RepubHcan 
party quickly joined Colonel Roosevelt in his reiterated 
demands for the adoption of universal mihtary service by the 
United States. General Wood of the United States army, 
representing the aggressively Prussian group in the service, 
canvassed the larger universities of the North in the winter 
and spring of 1915 urging universal military service in 
general and the adoption of military training schools in the 
colleges in particular. This was done without the approval 
or consent of the President or the War Department.^ Not 
only the colleges but business organizations were canvassed. 
Speeches were made that took on the form of semi-official 
warnings. Leading newspapers took up the propaganda. 
American defence and security leagues were formed. Rear- 
Admiral Peaiy made speeches in Chicago in which he de- 
clared that within twelve months German flying machines 
would be dropping bombs upon the business district. 

Not only the larger business and the more conservative 
groups of the North took up this new Americanism, as 
Roosevelt called it; the Progressive party daUied with it out of 
loyalty to their leader of 1912. If a part of the Democratic 

^Any ezammBtion of the files of newspapers and periodicals for the twelve months preceding 
tile assembling of the conventions of 1916 will show this beyond a peradventure. 
^Conversation of the author with the proper authorities in August, 1915. 


party could be induced to follow the same lead, the President 
would be compelled to adopt the very programme which 
Bismarck had employed in the building of imperialist Ger- 
many. Senator George E. Chamberlain of Oregon, a Demo- 
crat, accepted the new militarism. He was chairman of the 
Senate Military Committee. Secretary Garrison of the 
Cabinet likewise became a convert to the Roosevelt-Wood 
gospel. Preparedness became the order of the day and men 
talked freely of the adoption of military conscription by an 
Anglo-Saxon community. Yet the critical state of the 
world forbade even the mentioning of the enemy against 
whom the agitation was aimed. 

Secretary Garrison prepared his report for the year 1915 as 
though he spoke for the country. It was a preparedness 
document, the introduction to which might have given just 
cause for offence to the President, if Wilson had been of a 
sensitive and pxinctilious nature. The report was followed 
by definite plans which were submitted to Congress very 
promptly. The Regular Army was to be increased to 142,000 
men. A new "continental army" of 400,000 was to be 
-organized as soon as possible. There were to be reserves of 
state militia and vast quantities of war material. In similar 
manner the navy was to be enlarged.^ This was indeed a 
remarkable change from the older British-American attitude 
on the subject of armaments. Men seemed not to consider 
the danger in a country Uke the United States of such a great 
number of armed men. They were apparently frightened by 
Germany; or probably they felt that the unstable conditions 
of the industrial region rendered such a force necessary to the 
security of great properties. Much depended upon the atti- 
tude of the President, for Congress was very loth to accept 
either Secretary Garrison's recommendations or to become 

' "American Yearbook," 1916, 8-S, 18-18. 


excited by the representations of the National Security 

The message of December, 1915, gave tentative support to 
the Garrison military plans. In January, Wilson toured the 
North calling attention to the need of a greater army. In 
St. Louis he declared that America must have the greatest 
navy in the world. From the speeches German sym- 
pathizers might think that the great army was to be employed 
against the Fatherland, and British supporters might with 
equal justice feel that the great navy was to be employed to 
break the blockade. Of course the President could not make 
addresses that would practically break down the neutrality so 
carefully maintained.' It was noticeable, moreover, that he 
never employed the term "universal military service" and he 
was careful to explain that there was to be no_militarism in 
the country. ' 

The result of the journey seems to have been a conviction 
that it was best not to hasten the larger preparations which 
the Secretary of War and Senator Chamberlain demanded. 
Representative Hay of the House Military Committee pre- 
pared a bill which would employ the national guard as the 
proposed new army, and it was in other respects a much mild- 
er reform of the old military system. Hay found strong 
support in Mr. Bryan, then opposed to the Garrison plans, in 
Representative Kitchin, and Southern members of Congress in 
general. Wilson did not lend support to his Secretary of 
War and the latter resigned.^ Immediately all the elements 
of the opposition centred about the retiring secretary, pro- 
claiming him an injured public servant. A mpnth later when 
Newton D. Baker, avowed pacifist, was appointed to the 
vacant post, there was much sharp criticism. It seemed that 

^The Liieraiy Digest^ February 5, 1916, gives an accouftt of the President's campaign. 
^"Americas Yeaibook." 1916, pp. 16-18, gives a slightly coloured account of the episode. 


Wilson had come very near to making a serious blunder and 
had recovered at the last moment. Whatever the leaders of 
the opposition urged upon him in this matter of universal 
military service, it was noticeable that the Republicans in 
Congress and in their conventions which met in Chicago in 
June following declined to take the advanced stand they 
commended to the President."^ A national defence act was 
passed during the summer. It was a compromise, but it 
added nevertheless very greatly to the military power of the 
country. And significantly it gave the President great powers 
over the railroads in the event of war; it also authorized a 
council of national defence. In like manner Secretary Daniels 
was authorized to hasten the building of twice the number 
of capital ships that had been provided in former years. 

The European war had changed the military policy of the 
country. Representative Kitchin declared that the United 
States was becoming a militaristic nation. Wilson was of the 
opinion that public opinion, such as Mr. Kitchin and very 
many other representatives in both houses expressed, needed 
to be aroused. In August, 1915, he had become convinced 
that he would be unable to keep out of the great war. Of 
course this feeling could not be made public. Only the 
closest observer noticed that in the Public Defence Act and in 
the Adamson Law there were definite grants of military 
powers to the President that could be explained upon no 
other ground than his apprehension of the future. 

But in aU that had been said and done no opportunity 
was given for a sharp party issue. Only in the Adamson Act, 
that came after the presidential campaign was well advanced, 
and in the general treatment of the civil service from the be- 
ginning was there distinct challenge to the opposition. As be- 

■" American Yearbook," 1916, pp. SO-31, gives a succinct summarsr of the Progressive ieO 
Republican platforms. 


tween Labour and Capital, Wilson took the side of Labour, as 
any other president must have done or pretended to do. The 
question of the civil service was a difficult one.' Wilson did 
not handle it well. He had long been an advocate of civil 
service reform. But the Republican party had been in of- 
fice sixteen years. All the positions, with the exception of a 
considerable number which had been filled under the civil 
service commission, were held by Republicans. Men, like 
Mr. Bryan, in the Cabinet and in Congress wished to find 
places for "good Democrats." A similar spirit had char- 
acterized all other administrations.^ Wilson, although fully 
aware of the risks, allowed many diplomatic, consular, and 
other positions to be awarded to party workers. And 
Democratic leaders in Congress more than once enacted 
legislation that tended to debauch the civil service. The 
President himself removed Director North from the man- 
agement of the Census Bureau and placed an inexperienced 
man in the position thus made vacant. 

A great outcry was made against the policy of Mr. Bryan 
and a good deal of criticism was directed against Southern 
members of Congress for seeking to control the patronage of 
the Government. As to the President's removal of the 
Director of the Census, a cursory study of the record of Mr. 
North reveals a sufficient public motive for an apparently 
partisan act. When all has been said that can be said, it re- 
mains clear that Wilson did not take a backward step in 
this important matter. He does not love the patronage of 
his office. Senators have said to him : " You must recognize 
that somebody must build up the party. Why not let us 

'"American Yearbook," 1916, pp. 184-86. 

^President Roosevelt's letters, written while he was in office to the English historian, George 
otto Trevelyan, recite a similar difficulty and confess a similar policy. — Scribner'i Magazine, 
October, 1919, p. 391. 


devise ways and means since you will not do it? " One of the 
difficulties between the President and his party in both 
houses of Congress throughout the period following 1913 was 
just the problem of the patronage. And as the matter stood 
when the campaign of 1916 opened, the Administration had 
as good a record as any of its predecessors; one is constrained 
to say a better one. 

Thus the great war had shifted the Issue from domestic 
concerns, but Wilson had managed not to commit himself 
publicly to the likelihood of American participation. He had 
seized the leadership of the movement for preparedness which 
had been started by opponents, and prevented his party from 
being pressed too far in the direction of militarism. And in 
the minor concern of the civil service, on which no election 
was apt to turn, his record was not particularly vulnerable. 
Public opinion was, however, greatly perturbed. The Presi- 
dent was greatly perplexed. Public men did not know how 
to shape their courses, upon the very eve of the assembling 
of the national conventions.* 

It was a unique situation. The Democrats, both the body 
of the party in the South and its fairly certain allies in the 
Western states, were proud of their leader. They had not 
had such a spokesman since Andrew Jackson. They must 
renominate him. But the masters of the party organizations 
in New York, Indiana, and in Illinois hated Wilson. The 
more successful he was, the more disastrous appeared the 
future for them. There were absolutely no side doors to 
them to the White House so long as Wilson was in power. 
These men controlled, as always, the great delegations in 
Democratic conventions. They agreed to allow Wilson to 
have a renomination, for the simple reason that there was 

^Despite the confident language of leaders like Colonel Roosevelt, it was evident that neither 
Republicans nor Progressives knew what to do. 


nothing else to do. Before the end of the year 1915, Wilson 
had no possible competitor for the nomination. Mr. Bryan, 
who had felt compelled to leave the Cabinet, was a loyal 
supporter of the President even when the latter sought a 
second term. The convention which met in St. Louis on 
June 4th was simply a formality, a ratification meeting for all 
the work of the Administration. It declared that Wilson had 
compelled Germany to respect American rights and yet he had 
not "orphaned a single child." "He kept us out of war" 
was the common talk of the convention. It was soon to be 
the slogan of the campaign.^ 

Although President Wilson himself was the greatest asset 
of the Democratic party, the long list of reforms effected, the 
tariff, finances, trusts, income tax, and the new foreign policy 
were rehearsed in the platform put out by the St. Louis con- 
vention. And more. The child-labour bill then before Con- 
gress, the principles of the Progressives of 1912, and a moder- 
ate preparedness programme were embodied in resolutions 
which gave promise as to what the party would do in the 
future if continued in power. The B«publicans were sharply 
criticized for their continued opposition to the Shipping Bill 
so long before Congress; the cause of woman suffrage was rec- 
onunended to the states for adoption; and, finally, the various 
alien groups in the country were warned against the double 
allegiance urged by the German propagandists.^ 

The country received the Administration platform as it 
received the work of the Wilson Administration, as distinctly 
progressive if not radical. The movement inaugurated in 
1912 by La Follette and launched with so much enthusiasm 
by Colonel Roosevelt was now practically obsolete. Many 
of the Progressives had already indicated their satisfaction. 

^The JAterary Digest, June S3 and July 1, 1916, gives an account of the Democratic convention. 
'A summary will be found in the '* American Yearbook," for 1016, 3£i-86. 


Colonel Roosevelt and his closer friends could not, of course, 
recognize ungrudgingly the sweeping character of the reforms 
of Wilson. The logic of events compelled the poUtical Pro- 
gressives to turn again to the Republican party. The Eu- 
ropean situation also drove them in the same direction. Yet 
many of the leaders of 1912 were either pro-German in sym- 
pathy or afraid to offend the German voters in the cities of 
the North. Senator La Follette was now an open supporter 
of the German cause. On the other hand, Colonel Roosevelt 
and his Metropolitan Magazine group were the most violently 
anti-German of all American leaders. 

The Congressional election of 1914 had already shown 
that the Progressives were a vanishing party, like that which 
ex-President Van Buren had led in 1848. Less than two 
million people voted with the party which had given Roosevelt 
four million votes in 1912. It was plain that majay if not 
most of the Progressives had been simply Roosevelt men and 
not reformers. This was best shown in states like Pennsyl- 
vania which had given very large votes to him in 1912 and 
almost none to Progressive candidates for Congress. In 
the West there was a genuine radicalism, led by Victor Mur- 
dock and William Allen White of Kansas. 

The return of the party to its ancient friends was distinctly 
foreshadowed in September, 1915, when Colonel Roosevelt ac- 
cepted a semi-public dinner from Judge Gary and his friends 
of the high financial circle of New York. Mr. George W. 
Perkins had a part in this return to "safe and sane " moorings. 
He was to the Progressive movement what George Harvey 
had tried to be to the Democratic party. Only Perkins was 
successful. The Gary dinner gave men the "hunch" and 
one by one the Eastern Progressives indicated their return, j 
They were promptly received, if not as promptly forgiven. 
The Progressives called a conference to meet in Chicago 


January 11, 1916. It was there decided that the next na- 
tional convention of the party should be held in Chicago on 
June 7th, and that an effort should be made to induce the Re- 
publicans, who had already appointed their convention to 
meet at the same time and place, to nominate Roosevelt. 

This the Taft men in the older party could not permit. 
They hoped to nominate ex-Senator Root. Of course the 
Western Progressives could never be induced to vote for the 
man who had managed the so-called "steam roller" in the 
Republican convention in 1912. Roosevelt showed his es- 
sential conservatism in the proposition to nominate Senator 
Lodge, a close friend of Root. The Progressives would have 
no other than Roosevelt. The apparent deadlock continued 
till the very closing day of the dual conventions in X^hicago. 
Another man was necessary. Justice Hughes, a conserva- 
tive of non-conunittal record in the stormy days of 1912, 
proved to be a God-send to the men who were managing 
things for two opposing groups of the old Republican party. 
Hughes refused to answer all requests for his views or his 
attitude toward a possible nomination of both conventions. 
His silence lent him strength. His character lent the proposed 
combination dignity. His former honest and able exposure 
of the venal and criminal connections of big business, the 
great insurance companies, and the machine elements of both 
the Democratic and the Republican parties gave promise of a 
good national administration, if not of continued reform. 
Of even greater significance was the silence of the Justice 
upon all phases of the German war, the Lusitania incident, 
and the submarine frightfulness. The justice was cartooned 
throughout the spring as the sphinx.* 

iSome people condemned these maneuvers or silences on great matters. But one must not 
overlook the character of the American electorate, both racial and sectional. It has never been 
KB easy thing to hold a party together or to build a new one in the United States. 


When the Republicans met in Chicago they made out a 
programme that was designed to meet the Progressive point 
of view in minor matters only. They were prompt to declare 
for "honest neutrality and all our rights as neutrals," for 
woman suffrage to be granted by the states, for a return to 
the policy of McKinley, Roosevdt, and Taft in what shoidd 
have been called imperial control of the Philippines and for 
the strictest honesty in the administration of the Government. 
Protection to American industry and American labour was 
promised, and the Underwood tariff was denounced. The 
wording of the platform showed how thin was the ice upon 
which the managers of the great reconciliation were compelled 
to skate. It was the language of party platform-making 
since the day of Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay.* But 
everybody knew that it was a question of candidates, for all 
the greater parties in 1916, and not a matter of programmes. 

The Republicans in Chicago refused to nominate Roosevelt. 
The Progressives refused to nominate Root, Lodge, or Hughes. 
Two men were offered by the two conventions, Hughes by 
the Republicans, Roosevelt by the Progressives. This hap- 
pened almost at the same moment on June 10th. Adjourn- 
ment was in order. But if these two men were left before 
the people, Wilson's reelection by an overwhelming plurality 
was certain and both wings of the old Republidan party would 
practically disappear as effective political organizations. 
Roosevelt now held the fate of the Progressives, as well as of 
the Republicans, in the hollow of his hand. He decided, 
perhaps had long before decided, to make an end of the en- 
thusiastic party that nominated him twice with a zeal de- 
serving of a better fate. He took the proffered nomination 
under advisement. The two bodies adjourned, but the Pro- 

^" American Yearbook," 1016, 30<31, Copies of tlie various party platformi may be bad in 
any good library. 


gresslves appointed a committee to decide what should be 
done in the event of Roosevelt's declining to make the can- 

Hughes promptly accepted the Republican nomination. 
He resigned from the Supreme bench in fact to reunite the 
sundered wings^qf the Republican party; he knew that he was 
the only man in the country who could hope to do that; and 
he at once entered upon a vigorous series of attacks upon 
President Wilson. His "keynote" in the matter of the very 
critical national foreign policy was : " I stand for the firm and 
unflinching maintenance of all the rights of American citizens^ 
on land and sea." The Germans took that to mean that he 
would enforce American commercial rights as against the 
British blockade, and a distinguished German editor an- 
nounced in his Berlin paper, when the treaty was submitted 
in 1919, that the German cause was lost when Wilson was per- 
mitted to be reelected.^ 

Roosevelt declined after a few days and the Progressives 
accepted Hughes with what grace they could. In general 
the Eastern members of the party seem to have accepted the 
result with satisfaction; many Western Progressives aban- 
doned the Republicans altogether and annoimced their pur- 
pose to support Wilson. The Republican platform was of 
course accepted by those Progressives who returned to the 
bosom of the older party. The breach of 1912 was healed. 
There were once again two great political parties and two 
candidates that represented, each in his own person, the 
historic sections of the country, Hughes the old North and 

^W. R. Thayer, '^Theodore Roosevelt," in the chapter which he calls "Frometheus Bound." 
^ves a running account of the twin conventions. The object is, however, to condemn Wilson, 
not to explain Roosevelt. 

^The New Republic^ July 9, 1919, quotation from Der Tagliche Rundschau; also a letter of 
Doctor Albert to Von Fapen, November 16, 1916, published by the New York Timet, De- 
cember 19, 1919. ' 


industrialism, Wilson the old South and its Western allies.' 
The critical state of the world made the American election 
of the utmost importance; yet the result in America would 
turn, as in so many former elections, upon the attitude of a 
very few states and a small number of persons in those states. 
What lends particular interest to the thoughtful person is 
the fact that Hughes of all the Republicans most nearly re- 
sembled Wilson in character and even in policy. 

In the hope of putting Wilson on the defensive, the Re- 
publicans and the Progressives had held their conventions 
in Chicago before the Democrats held theirs. For the same 
reasons, Mr. Hughes in a midsummer campaign annoimced 
his loyalty to the good old doctrine of protection; he declared 
he was for America first; he would prepare for possible ills to 
come in the maintenance of the regular army and a Federal 
citizens' reserve; he attacked the President's Mexican policy, 
but did not say what he woidd do if elected; he seized upon 
the blundering Democratic appointments to oflSce as one of 
the big issues; and he denounced the weakness of Wilson's 
notes to Germany, but refused to say pointedly whether he 
would break the British blockade or go to war with Germany 
about the submarine policy. It was plain to all that Hughes 
could not announce a policy lest he offend the Germans who 
had voted with the Republican party since the days of 

When Mr. Hughes had made a few speeches in the East 
and the Middle West, he turned to the Rocky Mountain 
and the Coast states in the hope of winning the more pro- 
gressive Progressives. But his commitments to the "stand- 

'This is the larger fact but the author does not ignore the large Democratic minorities in the 
North who were so badly represented by machines like those of New York and Chicago. 

*A good digest of the Hughes statements will be found in The Liierary Digttt of August 13. 


pat" element of the party, his tariff views, and particularly 
the personnel of the Republican management proved trouble- 
some. On his way West, he continued to attack Wilson's 
civil service record; the farmers of the Dakotas proved rather 
apathetic; but in California the manipulations of the older 
Republican group proved the most serious of blunders. The 
result of the visit was the personal hostility of former Gov- 
ernor Johnson. No RepubKcan candidate ever had a more 
difficult task than that of Mr. Hughes. From start to finish 
he was drawn one way by Roosevelt and his bitterly anti- 
German foUowers,^ another way by the influential German- 
American politicians, and still a third way by the radical ele- 
ment of the former Progressives whose votes were sought by 
all parties. The outcome was a weak appeal on every vital 
matter that was before the public. 

The necessity of a non-committal policy on foreign matters, 
the danger of continuing the opposition to the Adamson 
Law, begun as soon as the law was enacted, and the weakness 
of the Republican platform on woman suffrage invited men 
to make use of the anti-Southern feelings of the voters in many 
states of the North. As I have said, the Southerners were 
the leaders both in the Cabinet and in the two houses of Con- 
gress. This fact was seized upon and people were told from 
many platforms that the new tariff, the bank reforms, and all 
the other laws that bore adversely upon industry in the North 
were but outcroppings of the old Confederate animus.^ This 
was particularly emphasized in attacks upon the income tax 
law. The Adamson Law was likewise a Southern measure 
designed to injure the business of the prosperous North. 
The child-labour measure passed in the midst of the campaign, 
a bill that had been urged by Roosevelt and other prominent 

•Thayer's "Theodore Roosevelt," iii. V 

'And the speeches of some Southeraers like Mr. Eitchio gave support to the view. 


Republicans since 1907, and resisted by Southern senators, 
was overlooked. 

Wilson and his campaign managers were slow to open the 
struggle. Vance McGormick was his manager; Josephus 
Daniels, a veteran of many party struggles, lent a hand at 
times; and Colonel House, still a new figure in public aflFairs, 
kept in touch with the Democratic headquarters. Mr. Bryan 
canvassed the Western states for many weeks, thus perform- 
ing a service which Clay had refused for Taylor in 1848 and 
Seward had only grudgingly done for Lincoln in 1860. Francis 
J. Heney of California, Bainbridge Colby of New York, and 
others of the former Progressive party gave public support 
to Wilson. In this team-play of the Democrats and positive 
assistance of leaders who had formerly worked with Roosevelt 
there was evidence of good political ability as well as genuine 
progressiveness in the President. 

Wilson himself remained in Washington till the most im- 
portant items of his legislative programme were safely passed 
or so near passage that there was no risk in his absence. The 
new income tax, the child labour, and the Adamson measures 
were all passed in the period between the assembling of the 
conventions and the first week of September. These meas- 
ures and the resolute attention of the President to their every 
detail, at a time when the foreign situation would have justi- 
fied a less aggressive interest, from older points of view, in- 
dicated the unabating spirit of reform of Wilson the executive 
a well as Wilson the candidate. 

Early in September, Wilson took up his residence at 
Shadow Lawn, New Jersey, whence he sent forth his notifica- 
tion speech. In that document he said: "We have in four 
years come very near to carrying out the platform of the 
Progressive party as well as our own." He declared that 
Labour had been emancipated, rehearsed the long list. of 


economic reforms, and then took up the more delicate matter 
of the American foreign relations. Of his Mexican policy 
he said that he had tried all along to save the country and its 
resources from the grasp of concessionaires and help the na- 
tives to a better life and government. He would not defend 
his notes to the German imperialists, but he pointed out how 
great was the difference between the killing of innocent men 
and women, the German practice, and the seizure of cargoes 
and mail pouches, the British ofifence. He did not indicate 
that it might be necessary to go to war as soon as the election 
was over, although he must have felt that such would be the 
case no matter who should be elected. ^ 

It was a curious campaign. The President who had done 
more for the country than any other party leader ever had 
done, unless we except Washington and Lincoln, was attacked 
every day by eminent men and a great political party. 
Neither these men nor their party offered any positive pro- 
gramme. On Wilson's side, although he was conscious of a 
great historical performance, little was said except that the 
President had kept the nation out of war. Indeed the one 
note that seemed to appeal to the voters most effectively, as 
the campaign neared its dose, was just that claim that "Wilson 
has kept us out of war." The President surely felt the un- 
worthiness of such an appeal, but he kn^w that if he inti- 
mated that he would recommend war, he would surely be 
defeated and all his half -finished work might be "scrapped." 

On the other hand, Mr. Hughes was equally timid about in- 
dicating that he would recommend war either with Germany 
or England, although his speech at Louisville as well as some 
assurances he made to a great audience in Philadelphia^ 

^The Literary Digest, September 16, 1916, gives a summary of tbe address and the press 
'New Bepvblie, October S8, 1SI6. 


seem to show that he meant to attack the latter country un- 
less American goods were allowed free access to Germany. It 
was a sort of blind-man's buff that both parties played to the 
end. And the voters were compelled to choose as between 
men and parties rather than between avowed programmes 
and promises. But there was a great deal of money spent 
in advertising and in agitation by the opposition. To this 
the Democratic management replied in advertisements that 
called attention to the unprecedented prosperity of the coun- 
try under their beneficent leadership — a stroke of humour 
that must have impressed even partisan Republican minds. 
How long had not their leaders told the world that prosperity 
was a plant of exclusively Republican growth and that demo- 
cratic control meant hard times.'' 

Whatever the varied and angry groups of foreign-born 
Americans thought, however puzzling the statements of the 
campaign orators may have seemed to the older American 
stocks, the German Government indicated its preference 
late in September by sending the Deutschland, one of its 
largest undersea boats, to the New England coast to sink 
outgoing shipping under the very eyes of the. uneasy East, 
And the German-American Alliance did its utmost to bring 
Wilson to disaster. Their influence had been made manifest 
in the Republican convention. It was continued to the very 
last, in spite of the belligerent speeches of Colonel Roosevelt 
who endeavoured to hold in line all the most violent anti- 
German elements of the national population. The Hearst 
papers likewise cast the weight of their superb sensation- 
alist organization into the Republican side of the scales. 
On the night of the election the Hearst International Film 
Service cartooned the President with indecent malic'e and 
played up Roosevelt as a hero.* 

^Witnessed by the writer iu Chicago on the night of the election. 


But when all is said about the confusion of issues and the 
alignment of nationalities, the real opposition to Wilson came 
from the industrial centres, from the former bankers, railroad 
magnates, and the sturdy old Republican stocks of the East 
and the Middle West, men who were afraid of even the moder- 
ate reforms of Southerners and agrarians, from people who 
thought that the Government mug t ever remain subservient 
to the industrial regions which had so long controlled the 
vital concerns of the Nation. They feared Wilson. Nor 
did the larger labour organizations, despite all that Wilson 
had done for Labour, support the Democratic administration. 
Labour was more afraid of "empty dinner pails," which 
masters of industry threatened, than it was hopeful of good 
things to come from friends actually in power, a state of mind 
which many former elections had shown. ^ 

When the returns came in on the night of November 7th, it 
seemed that Wilson was defeated. Men went to bed think- 
ing that Hughes was to be the next president. But on the 
night after the election it was plain that Wilson had been 
successful. Although the old lines between North and South 
were sharply drawn and the maps of the returns showed the 
two great sections arraigned against each other, Wilson had 
broken over the historic border and won Ohio, New Hamp- 
shire, and California, although he had failed to carry West 
Virginia. It was a combination of South and West which 
had won enough of the industrial centres to give Wilson a 
plurality of nearly six hundred thousand votes. The 
Democratic party had mustered strength enough to carry 
the country. Wilson was vindicated. What could he do 
with his triumph? Elected because " he kept us out of war," 
how could he maintain himself if he prepared at once to enter 
the war? 



THE reflection of Wilson weakened his power. For, while 
he was serving his first term and looking forward to a second 
nomination, the recalcitrant (elements of the Democratic 
party were constrained to support his measures and defend 
his "radical" pronouncements. His reelection released all 
those groups in the party that fed upon the husks of re- 
action and he must seek to fill the vacancies in his own 
party ranks by recruits from the Republican forces. But 
here again his recent success, the almost imprecedented 
plurality of 580,000 votes, frightened the leaders and 
the common-folk alike of the opposition. There was a new 
leader in the country, a second Lincoln, Jackson, or Jefferson; 
and it was every Republican's duty to resist and discredit 
the new man. It would be fatal to the party of industrialism 
if the prestige of Wilson were permitted to rise to higher 
levels. Everything conspired to hamper the President at the 
very moment he was contemplating his change of front with 
reference to the great war.' 

Nothing shows this better than the treatment of the 
President's bills in Congress in December and January of 
1916-17. He >vished the Adamson Law of the preceding 
September completed so that the Government might, in 
the event of war, both prevent strikes and take command 

'There is now and ever has been a deep-set sectionalism in the United States which gives to 
political parties a character distinctly American. 

195 i 


of the railroads. Congress refused for a long time to grant 
these logical and wise requests. Labour leaders, includ- 
ing Mr. Gompers, made violent protests against his propos- 
als.' Acting upon the patent evidence of the recent elec- 
tion, Wilson urged a corrupt practices act which would have 
remedied the ills of the over-use of money in national cam- 
paigns. Although it was plainly in the interest of the 
Democratic party that such a bill should become law the 
leaders of that party did not endeavour to force the reform 
through Congress. They were then in majority on safe 
margins. Once again the President pressed the Senate to 
ratify the treaty with Colombia, negotiated three years 
before, whereby the people of the United States were to make 
honourable amends to those of Colombia for the seizure of 
Panama by President Roosevelt in 1903.^ Although the 
Democrats sustained their leader fairly well in this, the 
Senate refused for a third time to accept the President's work. 
It was, however, the constitutional provision that treaties 
must be ratified by twp thirds of the Senate which caused 
his defeat in this highly important item of his international 

General Wood, supported by practically all the army 
influence in Washington, by the Roosevelt and the Taft 
RepubUcans in the East, by the National Security and 
the National Defence leagues, and especially by the larger 
city newspapers, urged every day upon the Government the 
adoption of the universal military service scheme which the 
President had declined to accept a year before on the urgent 
advice of Secretary Garrison. Now the Senate Military 
Committee headed by Mr. Chamberlain, Democrat and in- 

*" American Yearbook," lfll7, p. 8. 

*The Flood report of 1912 upon the so-called Panama revolution makes unpleasant read- 
ing for any fair-minded American. 


fluential leader of the party in the far Northwest, held hear- 
ings in February, 1917, introduced a military service measure 
which was contrary to the views of both the Secretary of War 
and the President. It was a plan to which all the greater 
industrial leaders of the country and the reactionary elements 
of the East were contributing the utmost of their influence 
and power. Everything that could be done to overbear 
Wilson and his followers was done and with the aid of a 
considerable number of his own party. 

What gave a sharper point to the sectional reminis- 
cences of the last campaign was a statement of Represen- 
tative Kitchin of North Carolina to a group of recalci- 
trant Southerners, when the emergency revenue bill was 
discussed in the Democratic caucus, that the North would 
have to pay the cost of the preparedness for which New 
York cried so loud. He meant that the income tax would 
fall upon the wealthy industrial states more heavily than 
upon the agrarian states of the South, which was a true 
statement and which represented a just policy. Yet in the 
temper of the times a great outcry was made against Wilson 
and his so-called sectional party. Kitchin was cartooned as 
a master "pork" politician draining the enterprising industries 
of the North of their resources in order to benefit the South.' 

It looked as if Congress were getting away from the Presi- 
dent. The time had come for Wilson to relent a little in his 
career of reforming business, for if he meant to go to war with 
Germany, as it was plain that he must do, the industrial 
leadership of the whole country would need to be conciliated. 
His bank reform, the Adamson Law, and most of the other 
measures of his first four years in office had b.een aimed at re-, 
dressing the wrongs of the agrarian and labour elements of the 

^The Literary Digeit of February 10, 1917, givea the cartoons and the press comment from 
varioiu sections of the North. 


nation. He had defeated the earlier preparedness move- 
ments in which the industrial states had been interested; he 
meant to defeat, on the eve of war, the Chamberlain- Wood- 
Roosevelt military bill.'^ Was there anything he coidd do for 
"business"? Could Wilson do anything which "business" 
would consider as honestly intended in its favour? 

His one crumb of satisfaction was offered in the so-called 
Webb Law which he now made an Administration measure. 
In February, 1915, in an address before the United States 
Chamber of Commerce, he proposed to the industrial groups 
of the country a scheme' somewhat like the former German 
cartel system. He said: "There are governments which, 
as you know, distinctly encourage the formation of great com- 
binations in each particular field of commerce in order to 
maintain selUng agencies and to extend long credits, and to 
use and maintain the machinery which is necessary for the 
extension of business; and American merchants feel that they 
are at a very considerable disadvantage in contending against 
that. I want to be shown this: how such a combination can 
be made and conducted in a way which will not close it 
against the use of everybody who wants to use it. ... I 
want to know how these coSperative methods can be 
adopted for the benefit of everybody and I say frankly 
if I can be shown that, I am for them." 

Wilson felt that there was an element of national selfish- 
ness in the urgent demands of business men for the immediate 
expansion of American trade in foreign lands in the midst of a 
r^war such as that then waging in Europe. He said that he did 
<^ not like to take advantage of the war to win from England and 

^This bill was designed to set up a permanent conscription policy at a time wBen excitement 
and the actual needs of a war, soon to begin, would seem to justify it. Wilson would resort to 
conscription only for the immediate emergency. The others wished conscription as a perma. 
Dent policy. 

^G. M. Harper, "President Wilson's Addresses," 14S-45. 


France their markets in the great world. Every day busi- 
ness men and their newspaper spokesmen were declaring 
that the British navy alone protected them against the ag- 
gressions of Germany; they were demanding universal mili- 
tary service in the United States as a means of protection 
against possible invasions. Yet they were organizing banks 
in South America and China in order to facilitate the com- 
mercial capture of those markets, in which England had 
such a vital interest. And already American business in 
those lands had doubled and trebled during the war.' Must 
the people and the Government of the United States, in 
such a crisis, engage in an attempt stiU further to win and 
finally control commerce in fields where America's friends 
would inevitably lose.-' 

At the very time the President was making the Webb 
bill an Administration measure, a foreign trade conven- 
tion, under the leadership of Alba H. Johnson, president of 
the Baldwin Locomotive Works, and James A. Farrell, 
president of the United States Steel Corporation, was dis- 
cussing at Pittsburg the urgent need of a more aggressive 
foreign trade policy and asking Congress to pass the Webb 
biU.^ The President was indeed treading close to dangerous 
ground. Perhaps he hoped to allay some of the bitter feeling 
against him and to win to his war programme some of the 
support of business men. 

The Webb biU became a law, however, only after much 
prodding on his part and against the votes of a good many 
senators who doubted the meaning of Greek gifts, and who, 
therefore, delayed the passage of the measure until April, 
1918. The chief feature of this concession to "business" 

•"American Yearbook," 1917, p. 609. 

' The LHttary Digeit, February 10, 1917. At the same time George Harvey was attacking 
the President for his supineness in such matters in his North American Reoiew. 


was the right of exporters to combine for purposes of foreign 
trade and to pool their expenses and profits; but the Federal 
Trade Board was to have legal supervision of all such com- 
binations. It was not long before the Supreme Court passed 
favourably upon the law and business men began operations 
under it in foreign trade. Before the end of the great war, 
the British Government had made similar arrangements in 
favour of English exporters, and it is inevitable that Prance 
and Italy'must do the same thing. That is, the allied govern- 
ments, including the United States, were already'adopting one 
of the German commercial devices when the war ended, a 
device which had been one of the causes of the war. 

But Wilson was about to turn from his struggle against 
the over-weaning power of American industry and its 
financial allies to a greater struggle with German imperialism 
which was the embodiment of industry, finance, and mili- 
tarism.' German industrial imperialism, not half so power- 
ful as that of the United States might easily become, had set 
itself the task of subordinating all Europe to its will and 
interests. If Germany won, inevitably American industrial 
civilization must contest with her the supremacy of the 
world. No man who understands the rudiments of his- 
tory could have doubted this in December, 1916. Wilson 
certainly was master of more than the rudiments of history, 
even if all his great interests had been devoted to strictly 
American problems. If, then, Wilson abandoned his 
domestic policy and the so-called national isolation, he 
would only advance to meet industrialism on a world stage. 
It was only a shifting of the struggle from a reform of indus- 
trial abuses at home to a prevention of greater abuses and 

lOf course modern industry is not of itself a great evil. Only the seeming necessity of in- 
dustrial leaders, as formerly with the slavery leaders, to dominate the governmental machinery 
of a country makes industry such a problem in any would-be democratic nation. 


tyrannies of industrial men on a world scale.^ He knew how 
little he was changing his programme, as anyone may see from 
the phrasing of all his public utterances upon the war in the 
winter of 1917 as well as from the alignment of his enemies 
both in Europe and America from the day that America 
entered the war. Moreover, it was plain from the first that 
industrial and grasping economic leaders of the allied cause 
were almost as much distressed at the tone of Wilson's inter- 
vention on their behalf as they were rejoiced to find the vast 
resources of the United States cast into their side of the 
European scales. The necessities of history^ make strange 
bedfellows. But the whole world stood in instant need of 
Woodrow Wilson as the third winter of the great German war 
set in. He and he alone could save mankind from the worst 
tyranny that had threatened it since the days of the Turkish 

Germany was surprised that she had not won the war 
In a few months. Organized as no other people ever had been 
organized, industry, commerce, military, social, and intellect- 
ual departments of her activity all fitting into the general 
political scheme, the German High Command set itself de- 
liberately and in most scientific manner to its great task. 
The Reichstag, despite the former boldness of the socialist 
group, gave all but unanimous support. Even young Karl 
Liebknecht announced to the American ambassador that he 
had confidence in the army and in the cause of the German 
people.^ The press, without exception, gave all the weight 
of its influence to teaching the German people that they were, 
and had ever been, a persecuted race and that now they must 
fight "to the last man" the most gigantic conspiracy of races 

^The President made his appreciation of this evident in his second inaugural. See G. M. 
Harper's "Addresses of President Wilson," p. 238. 
^James W. Gerard, "My Four Years in Germany," p. S15. 


and nations in all history. Teachers in th6 universities and 
in the schools, and preachers of every creed continued to 
proclaim now, as at the beginning, the unity of the German 
cause with that of Heaven itself. 

The food supply of Germany was long since under the 
control of the first "food dictator" of the great war. The 
financial arrangements of the nation were fixed for a long 
storm; and amazingly skiKul captains of armed cruisers were 
sent upon the seas of the world to harass and destroy the 
commerce of the allied countries. Every railroad in the 
empire, as everywhere else in Europe, was primarily en- 
gaged in war work. The standing army grew enormously 
till it was reckoned at ten to twelve million fighters. Women 
turned more* earnestly than hitherto to the heavier toil of 
men in order that the ranks of the army might never lack for 
human material. The greatest of all arms manufacturing 
plants, the Krupp works at Essen, increased its operations 
many fold, while in Austria and elsewhere other similar 
works put out the greatest guns ever known to warfare. 
The Berlin and the Chemnitz industrial districts were quickly 
converted into munitions-making districts. If Germany 
did not bring the world to her feet, it would not be for the 
lack of scientific organization and herculean effort. 

Germany was at the outset the richest of all the con- 
tinental nations. Her annual income amounted to nine or 
ten billions; that of England was not much greater, while 
that of France was very much less. She meant to devote 
the whole of her wealth to the struggle already begun. There 
was no hesitation about publishing to the world the extent 
of her ambitions. Friedrich Naumann put forth his "Mit- 
teleuropa," a book which outlined the German plans. The 
world accepted Naimiann as an inspired spokesman of the 
national purpose. Austria, Hungary, and the possible con- 


The Proposed Pan-German Empire 

quests from Russia were to be united with Germany. The 
Balkan states and Turkey were to be economic dependencies, 
and a wide colonial empire was to be set up in Mesopotamia. 
It was to be a great middle Europe that would hold the world 
in due awe and reverence. Naumann's book sold by the 
hundreds of thousands and its author became an important 
national character. ' 

An intense national and apparently official propaganda 
looking to the detachment of France from the triple entente 
was set in motion. France was the noble nation, ein ehrlicher 
Feind, who must be satisfied. Alsace-Lorraine was to be 
returned and there was to be no more mistaken hectoring of 

^Translated into English by C. 51. Meredith; published in London in the summer of 1916, 


her government or jealousy of her growina'colonial empire.' 
But Great Britain could never be forgiven. Lissauer's 
famous Hassengesang was sung all over the Fatherland and 
its author was called to court and decorated with the order 
of the Red Eagle of the second class. /A book was written 
and published imder the name of "Hindenburg's March 
Upon London" in which the hated enemy was described 
as broken and brought to the feet of the Kaiser. It was 
said that four millions of copies of this work were rapidly 
absorbed in Germany.^ A million copies of a translation of 
this book were quickly taken in England. Bookstores in 
New York and Chicago sold thousands of copies of the same 

Aware of the fell purposes of imperial Germany, even be- 
fore the evidence of her amazing military efficiency was made 
known, British statesmen took the lead in the counsels of the 
allies. They could not get an effective army in the field be- 
fore 1916. They might use their navy, they could lend 
vast sums of money, and they felt compelled to promise re- 
arrangements of the boundaries of Europe. If France would 
only hold the Germans back one more year, France might 
have the long-coveted Rhine boundary and of course Alsace- 
Lorraine. Italy, offended at the aggressive purposes of 
Austria in the Balkans, was promised the Trentino, Trieste, 
and perhaps the control of the Dalmatian coast if she would 
join the triple entente. Russia was to have Constantinople 

^Many Americans received pamphlets from Germany in 1915 tiiat took that tone and at 
the same time made England the great sinner, while the Bagdad corridor became the one thing 
for which Germany fought. 

*Both Naumann's "Mitteleuropa" and the "Hindenburg March Upon London*' were 
written during the Idld campaigns against Russia when successful resistances to the German 
arms seemed impossible. 

'Any people that would quickly absorb four million copies of "Hindenburg's March Upon 
London" must be strangely possessed. In England and America the book was used as propa^ 
ganda to stir men to resist Germany. 


and her warm water harbours, longed for since the time of 
Peter the Great. Venizelos, the prime minister of Greece, 
was asked to support the aUies, and the Greeks, too, were to 
receive "compensations" at the peace.^ 

One must not condemn off-hand to-day these bartering 
arrangements of European statesmen. Nor may one assume 
that the peoples concerned would have been greatly shocked 
if they had known all that was going on. The peoples of 
Europe, pressed one by another into narrow limits, are 
now and have long been filled with an intense land hunger 
of which Americans have little actual knowledge. France 
wished a wider area; Italy hungers for every possible inch 
of new soil; Russia, with plenty of land, has been kept from 
the seas and world markets for two centuries; and Greece 
is starving for the want of land for her teeming population. 
Europeans fight for tangible objects.* Thus England bar- 
gained for the support and the cooperation she must have, 
or Hindenburg's imaginary march upon London would prove 
a reaUty. 

Leaving France and England to perfect their arrangements 
and to win the support of the Italian army, Von Hindenburg, 
the hero of the great Tannenberg battle of August 26 — Sep- 
tember 1, 1914, gathered the immense strength of Germany 
along the Russian front, which extended from the Baltic to the 
northwestern corner of Roumania. Russia was supposed to 
have twice as many men as Germany could employ against her. 
The Russian Grand Duke Nicholas commanded the Russian 
right, fronting Von Hindenbiu-g in East Prussia; the Russian 
left was commanded by General Alexei Brusiloff , perhaps the 
greatest of all the Russians engaged in the war. Brusiloff 

^These are the concessions of the treaties of London pubHshed by the Russian Soviet Govern- 
ment in November, 1917. 

'The United States hungered for Cuba for nearly a century, and Mexico failed only narrow^ 
of annexation in 1S47-8. 


began first. Tarnopol, Lemberg, and, finely (Marchi 1915) 
Przemysl, with hundreds of thousands of Austrian prisoners, 
fell into his hands. He crossed the Carpathian Mountains 
and began the invasion of Hungary. It looked as if Austria- 
Hungary would be broken away from Germany. But Von 
Hindenburg began in midwinter, even in the dreary East 
Prussia, his attacks upon the Grand Djike. On February 12th 
the Russians were disastrously defeated, and two hundred and 
fifty thousand men fell victims to the superior strategy of the 
Germans. Then Von Mackensen struck at BrusilofE's rear, 
drove in his strong outposts, and compelled a retreat across 
the Carpathians and down the slopes of Galicia tiU all that 
had been gained was lost and a large part of West Russia 
and Volhynia, with their stores of minerals and foodstuffs, be- 
came supply ground for the Germans. At the same time 
Von Hindenburg continued his "drive" into Russian Po- 
land, Courland, and Lithuania. The richest industrial and 
railway districts of Russia were in German hands before the 
end of the summer, and more than a million Russian soldiers 
had been killed. Another million were prisoners working 
upon German farms or in German munitions plants, thus 
helping the cause of their enemies.' 

To stay the tide of German victory, the English and the 
French made strong attacks upon the German lines in Bel- 
gium and northern France. Terrible conflicts ensued but 
only small "dents" were made in those well-nigh impregnable 
positions. The Italians made ready to strike against their 
"hereditary" enemy, the Austrians, in midsummer, but the 
debacle of the Russians in Galicia left them at the mercy of a 
large Austrian army. The Italian advance was quickly con- 
verted in to a defence. Everywhere the German military ma- 

^The horrors of this campaign across Poland equal if they do not surpass anything known 
to modern or ancient warfare. , There can be no doubt that the German High Command meant 
to terrorize the world. 


cliine mowed down allied armies and overran allied territory. 
When the Bulgarians saw how the tide was likely to turn, 
they cast in their lot with the great General Sta£E in BerUn 
and opened their railroads to German armies and German 
supplies, the latter being hastened to the aid of the Turks 
now growing panicky at the prospects of the British Dar- 
danelles expedition. A German general conducted the 
Turkish operations against the British, while Von Mackensen 
himself directed in the early autumn a vast attack upon little 
Serbia, the Bulgarians delighting to aid their German allies 
in the cruel work which followed. The Greeks who were 
bound by treaty to aid the Serbians, fearing the terrific 
power of the Germans, did not send a man. The King of 
Greece, a brother-in-law of the Kaiser, now took the lead in 
public affairs, refusing the services both of Venizelos and his 
parliamentary majority. Autocracy was the order of the 
day. It was time to put aside the clumsy and ramshackle 
thing called democracy everywhere. Had not Germany 
shown the world the better way, the way of efficiency? In 
the language of Victor Hugo, describing Napoleon I, The 
Great General Staff in Berhn was about to embarrass God, 
so omnipotent had it become. 

England failed disastrously in her efforts to open the 
Golden Horn to Russian exports, so much needed in the 
allied world; and of coiu-se French and British military sup- 
plies could not find their way to the myriad hands of Russian 
soldiers now aroused to the awful dangers of war for them. 
The Dardanelles effort cost England many capital ships and 
a hundred thousand devoted soldiers. As the British with- 
drew from their dangerous position on the coasts of Galli- 
poU, the Germans drove the remnants of the Serbians over 
the mountains of Albania. British and Italian ships took 
these broken people to Corfu, while Britain and France to- 


gether maintained with diflSculty a single position in the 
region, at Salonika. Such was the end of all the brilliant ex- 
pectations of the early spring of 1915. The allies were every- 
where defeated, save upon the ocean.' 

And as I have already indicated, the Germans were making 
the sea more than dangerous to any one who might follow his 
lawful business upon it. A half-dozen American ships had 
been sunk and many American lives had been lost. The 
Lusitania was simk just as Von Hindenburg was moving 
into Russia and Brusiloflf was beginning his retreat across 
the Carpathians. France changed her ministry; Great 
Britain was confronted with an Irish rebellion and the people 
of the United States, divided and provincial as they had al- 
ways been, were hardly awake to the state of the world. It is 
no wonder that Germany was drunk upon victory. It was 
the beginning of German defeat. Her emperor was now 
confident that nothing could stay the "victorious German 
sword." The General Staff now laid its plans for the utter 
break-up of France and for a final onslaught upon hated 
Albion. There can be no doubt that France literally trembled 
and that England looked upon the popular and clever Lloyd 
George as her only hope. President Wilson, who saw and felt 
all the time that the whole world must reckon with Germany, 
knew that he could not make a positive move nor even 
adequately resent the [wrongs upon American ships and 
American fives, lest he set loose in his own country the chaos 
of party rivabies and racial conflicts.^ Were ever the aflfairs 
of men in a more critical condition? 

iH. W. Devinson, "The Dardanelles Campaign," London, 1918, is perhaps the best account 
of this disastrous British effort. 

^Thia view is based upon close study of the American character aa well as upon a comparison 
of political party conduct and attitudes in former crises. I am convinced that it will be the 
verdict of history when all the evidence is available. See also two French books, *'Les 
£tata-Unis d'Am6rique et le Conflit Europfien," Paris, 1919, by A. Viallate and "Les £tats- 
Unis et la Guerre," Paris, 1919, by £. Hovelaque. 


Grermany moved forward once more. The Crown Prince 
began the attack upon Verdun on February 21, 1916. He 
expected to drive the French before him and reach Paris 
in the early spring. A new German miUtarist, General von 
Falkenhayn, was the master strategist at the side of the 
Crown Prince. The Kaiser stood upon a safe eminence with 
field gla,sses in his hand watching for the first signs of dis- 
aster to the French. Day after day the bloody work went 
on; a little ground was won or lost; hundreds of thousands 
of men fell on each side. All the world read the dispatches 
with intense excitement; but Verdun did not fall. 

The EngUsh had at last got enough men into Belgium to 
attack. They tried to drive the Germans from the Somme. 
They did not succeed, but they held great armies of Ger- 
mans away from Verdun. General Haig announced that the 
battle of the Somme was a success. The EngUsh had held 
the Germans; they had aided the French; and this had given 
courage to the Italians and the Russians who attacked with 
some success on their fronts. The significant fact was that 
British soldiers had learned how to use machine guns, and 
British manufacturers had learned to make munitions and 
tanks, a new weapon in warfare. The more alert of the Ger- 
man people, watching the increasing unity of their foes and 
the growing anger of great elements of the American popula- 
tion, began to fear that their cause might fail after all. 

But it was only a momentary fear. Roumania, whose 
interests were with those of the allies and whose leaders 
were distinctly anti-German, was about to join the allies. 
They thought the western powers would finally make the new 
map of Europe, and, if so, they would like to secure that part 
of Hungary which was Roumanian, perhaps more. She had 
an army of five hundred thousand men. Russia still had 
troops enough to assist her. The die was cast. Roumania 


invaded Hungary in August. Germany replied with an army 
under Von Mackensen. It was accustomed to victory; it was 
overwhelming in strength and in great guns. The Rouman- 
ians quickly lost their advantageous positions in the moun- 
tains; the passes were taken by the Germans; and before 
Christmas Von Mackensen was in Bucharest. Another en- 
emy had been struck down with lightning-like rapidity. The 
corridor to Bagdad was safer and wider than ever; and still 
other rich food- and oil-bearing lands were at the mercy of the 
General Staff in Berlin. Who could resist? Would not the 
Allies take notice.'' It was time for the last great stroke that 
was to bring peace and world empire. Why should not every- 
body agree to Germany's great plan? 

As a means of winning world approval, the German Govern- 
ment directed its first great peace move toward President Wil- 
son. The President was supposed to have committed himself 
irrevocably to peace and even to submission. As a matter 
of fact, Wilson had said in October, 1916, inacampaign speech,' 
that the business of neutrality had played out. He had 
asked Congress and the country to build warships at double 
the rate any former president had built them; he had m*ged 
three different times the building of merchant ships in great 
numbers; and he had told an Irish agent of Germany in New 
York that he would feel himself disgraced if he should receive 
the votes of such men. Could wise diplomats in Berlin or 
elsewhere bring themselves to believe that such a man as 
Wilson would not resist the "sink-and-kill" progranune that 
the German admiralty was known to be preparing? 

The diplomats about the Kaiser were, like the military 
men, drimk with success; they knew the outside world feared 
them and they thought that Wilson's "too-proud-to-fight" 

iRobinson and West, "The Foreign Policy of Woodrow Wilson," 356. 


attitude, his patience with them at a time when the condi- 
tions of American politics commanded patience, and his 
proclamation about keeping neutral "in spirit," meant that 
he would submit to anything. It was the great blunder of 
Germany that she attributed fear of a craven sort to men 
who merely hated war. It was this that had led to the 
hasty killing of Edith CaveU in 1915, that made a waste of 
northern France, and subjected civilian populations that fell 
into German hands to incomparable hardship. It has ever 
been the weakness and the crime of military men when suc- 
cess crowned their efforts. One can not forget that it was 
General Sherman who said "war is hell, " and then illustrated 
the theory by practice in South Carolina. 

But Germany bUndly matured her naval programme and 
sent Wilson the peace message of December 12, 1916. It 
was a "raw" document which announced in spirit and even 
in so many words that the world had seen the German ma- 
chine at work, that conquests were easy to make, that man- 
kind could not escape the German power and the German 
kultur, and that it was time to cease the shedding of innocent 
blood by resisting the German might. If the Allies would 
lay down their arms and gather about a peace table, they 
might then learn what the German terms would be. If Wil- 
son would bring the allied governments to accept this propo- 
sition, he would do mankind a great service. It can hardly 
be thought that Germany believed the Allies would thus sub- 
mit. Yet the proposed submarine weapon was feared. Men 
dreaded the -consequences of the test to which the sailors of ■ 
the world were to be subjected. If Englishmen and neutral 
sailors should strike against shipowners, there would be an 
end of the strugglp. If Wilson continued his neutral poUcy, 
the struggle would be lost.' 

^Jamea W. Gerard, '"My Pour Years in Germany," 347-S77. 


On the IStli of December, Wilson, fully informed by Mr. 
Gerard in person of the undercurrents of Berlin naval 
and diplomatic circles, called upon all parties to the war 
to publish their objects in the waging of such a deadly con- 
flict. He said that all professed the same ends. If so, why 
might not all agree to cease fighting? The German reply 
contained no hint of the terms that would satisfy her, but 
authoritative leaders in Berlin continued to talk of Mittel- 
europa, of retaining Belgium, of vast indemnities to be taken 
from the Allies and even from the United States. The allied 
governments insisted that they could never agree to an 
armistice until Germany gave up Belgium, freed northern 
France, and made reparation for the damage done to those 
who had been overwhelmed by the German armies. It 
was clear enough now that the two groups of powers were not 
fighting for similar ends. It was only diplomatic necessity 
that had caused Wilson to indicate that he might have 
thought otherwise. Nothing came of the German p«eace ap- 
peal. Nothing resulted from Wilson's request and the 
replies of the warring groups. Germany could not stop. 
The Hohenzollern dynasty had fed the German people so 
long upon a diet of conquest that the failure of a great war, 
like the one then waging, was equivalent to revolution. Wil- 
liam II, Von Hindenburg, Von Mackensen, and the rest must 
have great annexations and great indemnities or abdicate. 
The President knew this well enough. Every historian 
realized it. The Prussian ideal had been government by 
force and war as a legitimate business of states since the time 
of Frederick the Great. Forty years had been spent in 
preparation for the moment which seemed just ahead in 
December, 1916. The submarine was to be the weapon 
which would bring peace with annexations and indemnities. 

Once again Wilson endeavoured to bring about peace. 


Dreading, as all democratic leaders must dread, the thrusting 
of their people into war, he addressed the senate on January 
22, 1917: "I would fain believe thatlamspeakingforthesilent 
mass of mankind. ... I am proposing that the nations 
should with one accord adopt the doctrine of President Mon- 
roe as the doctrine of the world: that no nation should seek 
to extend its polity over any other nation or people, but that 
every people should be left free to determine its own polity, 
its own way of development, unhindered, unthreatened, un- 
afraid, the little along with the great and powerful. . 
I am proposing government by the consent of the governed; 
that freedom of the seas which our ancestors have urged; and 
that moderation of armament which makes of armies and 
navies a power for order merely, not an instrument of ag- 
gression or of selfish violence." To attain these ends and to 
set the stage for a new world, he urged: "That it must be a 
peace without victory. It is not pleasant to say this. I 
beg that 1 may be permitted to put my own interpretation 
upon it and that it may be understood that no other inter- 
pretation was in my thought. I am seeking only to face reali- 
ties and to face them without soft concealments. Victory 
would mean peace forced upon the loser, a victor's terms 
imposed upon the vanquished. It would be accepted in 
humihation. . . . Only a peace between equals can 

Here Wilson spoke as a statesman having in mind not only 
the needs of war-stricken Europe, but the various elements 
of his own people who must fight a war upon Germany, in 
the event that he failed to bring the Kaiser to accept the 
Golden Rule diplomacy. It was the President's last call to 
Germany to come again within the pale of modem civilization 

iRobinsoD and West, "The Foreign Policy of Woodrow Wilson," S6S-S70. 


and make a peace that would not ruin her; if she refused, her 
moral position would be worse than ever and American unity 
almost certain. Yet he was not understood. The leading 
men in the East railed at Wilson's "peace-without- victory" 
and once again put obstacles in the way of his going into 
the very war they wished him to enter. They talked of his 
weakness, his pro-Germanism, of his "weasel words," and 
his endless notes. Yet a hundred years from now both 
American historians and the German population will see 
that he put the imperialists on record before mankind as 
unwilling to have any other peace than a peace of violence 
and subjugation. 

Would Wilson go to war.? That was asked everywhere 
and every day all over the world. Would Congress sustain 
him with a whole heart if he should go to war with Germany.'' 
Would the millions of people of German blood, hving in all 
the great cities of the North, sustain such a war ? These latter 
were questions which some people seemed never to put to 

On January 31st, Ambassador von BemstorflF handed an 
announcement to the Secretary of State in Washington saying 
that the expected move had been made in Berlin: Germany 
ordered a blockade of England, France, and Italy, closed the 
ports of Europe to neutrals as well as belligerents, and hence-, 
forth submarines would sink all ships that endeavoured to 
trade with any of the countries at war with Germany. One 
American ship, duly painted according to German orders, 
might go to England each week, and a narrow lane through 
the Mediterranean to Greece, still a neutral country, was 
marked oflF for the sailing of an occasional ship! The world 
was simply told to stand aside while Germany finished her 
job. Secretary Zimmermann, of the German Foreign Office, 
said to Ambassador Gerard on January 31, 1917: "Give us 


only two months of this kind of warfare and we shall end 
the war and make peace within three months."* Napo- 
leon I never issued a more autocratic order. Wilson 
was asked, just as Belgium had been asked on August 1, 
1914, to hold the gun aimed at England, while the Ger- 
mans pulled the trigger. For the United States to submit 
would have been as immoral as it would have been for Bel- 
gium to grant willing consent to the German army in 
1914. As I have said before, the Berlin authorities were 
drunk with what they called their own greatness. It was the 
one thing needful to the final overthrow of the HohenzoUern 
dynasty and the complete breakdown of the German system 
as taught and worshipped since 1864. Although Germans 
at home and Germans in the United States had said again 
and again that the United States were hardly equal, as a 
fighting power, to Roumania, the resources and the vast in- 
dustrial machine which Wilson would command, in the event 
of war, were equal to the resources and the economic power 
of all Europe. Almost gleefully Von Tirpitz and the Gen- 
eral Staff took their chance and challenged Wilson to do his 

Wilson replied on February 3rd in the sudden and irrevocable 
breaking off of relations with Germany. From the Congress 
which had refused to pass a shipping bill, refused to enact his 
corrupt practices measure, and had for six months failed to 
pass the most vital and necessary parts of the Adamson 
compromise of the preceding August, he now asked a blanket 
grant of power to meet the urgent needs of the new situa- 
tion.^ The country, however, was at last ready. Germany 
had revealed herself in ways that the wayfaring man could 
understand. Western and Southern newspapers that had 

iJames W. Gerard, "My Four Years in Germany,'' S7S. 
'F. A. Ogg, "National Progress," 394. 


formerly been unequal to an understanding of the issue in 
Europe talked with hearty endorsement of the imminence of 
American participation in the war against Germany. The 
reactionary East that denounced Wilson because he would 
not compel England to open her blockade on behalf of Ameri- 
can goods bound to Germany shouted approval. Even large 
elements of the German-American population indicated 
sorrowfully that the Fatherland was no longer defensible. 
It was remarkable how the dis-United States rallied to the 
President. Wilson felt once more the tremendous weight of 
the national approval. 

While America came to his support in unquestioned man- 
ner, Europe began to realize that something might happen 
on this side of the Atlantic. Mr. Gerard says that Beth- 
mann-Hollweg feared the consequences of the ruthless sub- 
marine policy; but Germany as a whole still lived in her il- 
lusions of supreme power on earth. The English press 
that had jeered and cartooned Wilson for his request of De- 
cember 18th, and his "peace-without-victory" address,' now 
saw soihe wisdom in Wilson's method. The French, who 
derided in extravagant language the strange "Monroeism" 
of the speech to the Senate, sought in a few short weeks to 
give their pens an entirely different turn. Europe really 
took notice of Wilson in February, 1917. His "folly" might, 
after all, interest elder statesmen. 

It was not a light matter. The German submarine be- 
gan to take an enormous toll upon the shipping from which 
Britain, France, and Italy must live. Day by day the 
published list of sinkings became more ominous. Belliger- 
ents and neutrals alike went down. Millions of tons of food- 
stuffs and ammunition were destroyed with the utmost 

Tie Literary Digest for February 10, 1917, gives the comiqent of the foreign press upon the 
President's diplomacy. 


abandon by the Germans. Although the beginning of the 
great allied offensive in the Somme region, which came in 
March, 1917, brought an immediate retreat of the German 
army over a wide strip of territory to a so-called Hindenburg 
line, the events upon the ocean a little later on the very 
coasts of the United States warned Wilson that if he would 
save the cause represented by Britain and France, he must 
hurry. It was not long before a million tons of shipping 
was sunk each month. 

' But Wilson was making ready his strokes. The secreta- 
ries of war and navy had been consulting business men with 
the view to having matured plans ready in case of war as early 
as the end of January, 1917. Wilson entered into relations 
with these men, later called the "seven dictators." Daniel 
Willard of the railway world, Julius Rosenwald, of the Sears 
Roebuck Company, Samuel Gompers, head of the American 
Federation of Labour, and others prepared the measures that 
were later to be adopted so promptly.'^ But Congress was 
not ready. ^ was a body chosen in 1914 and a littie out of 
touch with its constituencies."^ 

The President's urgent request for far-reaching powers, 
granted in the house bill of March 1st, giving him authority 
to arm American merchantmen, was held up in the Senate 
and defeated in a notorious filibuster. The men who managed 
this filibuster illustrate the curious character of American 
public men as well as the kind of opposition that was still 
manifested to the entrance of the United States into the great 
war. The leaders of the group were Stone of the Missouri 
Democratic machine; O'Gorman the Irishman of Tammany 
Hall connections; Clapp of Minnesota, and La FoUette of 
Wisconsin. The Germans of Missouri, the Irish of New York, 

^Investigation of the Graham committee as reported in the daily papers of July 7, 1919. 
The Chicago Trilmae gives a brief account oE the investigation. 


and the German-Swedish elements of the Northwest were the 
motor forces behind these "wilful men," as Wilson charac- 
terized them. In Germany, the Frankfurter Zeitung char- 
acterized Stone as a great patriot trying to save his country 
against the unconstitutional conduct of the president; while 
the Berlin Local-Anzeiger denounced Wilson as the most 
"dishonourable man who ever stood at the head of a great 

Thwarted in his efforts to get from Congress the powers 
he needed and denounced by Germans abroad and in the 
country in the bitterest of terms, Wilson took the oath of 
office for his second term on March 4, 1917. In his first in- 
augural he had summoned all forward-looking men to aid him 
in the healing of American industrial life. Now he said, 
showing how well he understood America's relation to the 
world war: " There are many things to do at home, . . . 
and we shall do them as time and opportunity serve; but we 
realize that the greatest things that remain to be done must 
be done with the whole world for stage and in cooperation 
with the wide and universal forces of mankind, and we are 
making our spirits ready for those things. They will follow 
in the immediate wake of the war itself and will set civiliza- 
tion up again. We are provincials no longer."* 

It was indeed an anxious time. A new epoch for the 
United States was beginning. But it may well be doubted 
whether the American representative system enabled the 
country to have at the President's side more than a handful 
of senators and representatives who were half aware of what 
went on about them that famous day. Congress adjourned 
in an ill humour, filibustering to defeat not only the bill grant- 

iTAa LUerary Digitt, March 17, 1917, gives the names of .the Senate filibusten and the 
excerpts from German papers. 
^G. M. Harper, "President Wilson's Addresses," !2S8. 


ing powers that the President thought necessary to the ful- 
filment of his duty, but a number of important appropriation 
measures urgently needed in the ordinary operations of the 
Government.^ Both the bitterly partisan Republicans and 
the provincial and machine-ridden Democrats of that closing 
session of the Sixty -fourth Congress advertised to the people 
their utter lack of understanding of world affairs. Their 
last acts lent strength and a better frame of mind by contrast 
to the next assembling Congress which was promptly con- 

At a joint session of the Sixty-fifth Congress, on April '2nd, 
Wilson read his message recommending a declaration of war 
on Germany. At the same time he sent the German am- 
bassador guarantee of safe-conduct from the country. Wil- 
son spoke as a man of long-suffering patience, driven to war 
by a ruthless group of autocratic rulers in Berlin. It was to 
be a war to "make the world safe for democracy." He 
closed the address with a par aphrase of Martin Luthe s^s^JarL 
mniis- apppul trt TTia.^lps Y a M . hp Dip t nf Wn rn^: " Ijga n-gg 


4f>-otherwise. God he lp-mer^^ The people, almost^ithout ex- 
jeption . approved his words and his course. Both the Senate 
and the House voted on April 6th by large majorities, and 
without prolonged debate, for a declaration of war. It was 
seen to be a race between the German submarines and the 
American preparations. If Wilson and the country did 
their utmost Germany might yet be defeated; if any serious 
blundering occurred, America would fail and France would 
be dismembered. It was indeed a new day and great issues 
depended, as often before, upon the words and conduct of 
one man. 

•Two yeus later, in equally critical times, three senators conducted a similar filibuster. 


A DEMOCRATIC people never makes war with any great 
show of eflBciency. The United States^ has conducted its 
wars with apparently a maximum of waste and blundering. 
The Mexican War was probably an exception to this rule; 
but in the War of 1812, the Civil War and the struggle with 
Spain, it is difficult to imagine more of blundering and cross 
purposes without complete failure. In 1917, the nation em- 
barked upon the most gigantic, if not the most important, 
of its wars under the leadership of a man who did not believe 
in wars as a method of solving international problems and a 
Secretary of War who was an avowed pacifist. Moreover, 
the political party that must conduct the struggle was the 
party of plain coimtry folk, of men and women who were 
not connected with the great industrial concerns and in- 
terests that lie at the bottom of wars. Everything augured 
against an efficient and successful conduct of the war of 1917. 
Yet the opposite of everything expected happened. No other 
war in which the country has ever engaged was marked with 
as little of scandal or as much of success and efficiency. The 
cause of this unexpected turn of events was mainly the leader- 
ship of the President. 

The way was cleared for the first strokes of the War 

^The author does not mean to assert that the United States Is a democracy. It isi all things 
considered, probably as nearly a democracy as Great Britain. 



Congress, the Sixty-fifth, on April %, 1917. The new body 
organized promptly, the Democrats holding their own with- 
out diflBcuUy in the Senate while in the House the Republi- 
cans were so nearly a majority that it was only with the 
help of three Independents and a Socialist that the Demo- 
crats could elect the Speaker and retain control of the great 
committees. This was a good thing from the standpoint of 
efficient leadership from the White House. It compelled 
the party in power to remain at its task and pay close at- 
tention to Mr. Wilson for whom there was little love in either 
house. The Speaker, Champ Clark, was notoriously out of 
harmony with his chief; Representative Kitchin, the chair- 
man of the Committee on Ways and Means, and Repre- 
sentative Dent, chairman of the Military Committee of the 
House, were inchned to disagree with the President, the latter 
going so far as to refuse at the critical moment to in- 
troduce the Administration Military Bill. Nor were all 
Senate Democrats in a better frame of mind. Under ordi- 
nary circumstances and ordinary leadership, this state 
of things would have meant a return to the old govern- 
mental impotence. It did not prove to be an ordinary 

And Wilson's leadership proved at once the most ex- 
traordinary. When he read his now famous war message 
practically the whole people applauded. The work of prep- 
aration had been completed. Men knew at last that impe- 
rial Germany could not be permitted to go her way unhin- 
dered into Paris and to a world control; they were ready to 
fight that this should not come to pass. This popular read- 
iness Wilson turned, as only he knew how to turn it, into a 
campaign for democracy. His phrase, "The world must be 

1 " The American Yearbook," 1917, p. 9, and of course "The Congressional Record," paniin, 
^ve accounts of this. 


made safe for democracy," expressed the common thought. 
Its emphasis by the President was tantamount to 9^ return of 
men's thoughts to the older and better ideals of 1776. 

But of course the ominous dangers in the woj4d situation, 
the distressing dispatches telling of the ruthless sinking of 
ships by German submarines, with the slightly encouraging 
stories of Von Hindenburg's retreat on the Somme, bore upon 
members of Congress and nerved their hands to a unanimity 
that was unnatural in the existing state of party strength and 
party fears. As soon as the committees could get into their 
places, Secretary Baker submitted a plan of universal military 
conscription that took the former militarists off their feet. 
But Congress promptly passed the measure, and before three 
months had passed the Government, assisted by an enthu- 
siastic public support and actual assistance in every town and 
county, had enrolled the young manhood of a hundred mil- 
lions of people, was setting up vast training camps, and en- 
gaging hundreds of thousands of carpenters and plumbers to 
build and equip suitable barracks. Railroad companies and 
business corporations everywhere yielded first place to the 
needs of the country. It was amazing to witness, that sum- 
mer, the efforts of a democratic people getting ready for war. 
Great Britain, stimulated by the quick march of Germany 
through Belgium in 1914, did not prepare so rapidly or so well 
as did the United States under the leadership of Wilson and 
the spur of the public will in 1917. 

Wilson next called for a law authorizing a censorship of 
press and free speech. He might have followed the example 
of Lincoln in 1861-2 and suppressed newspapers and im- 
prisoned individuals without process of law. He preferred 
to have Congress and the country formally authorize him in 
such drastic moves. Congress did not quickly follow him in 
this and he, using the prestige of his popularity, set up about 


the middle of April a bureau of public information which 
was responsible to him. At the head of this bureau he placed 
a radical Democrat and experienced newspaper man, Mr. 
George Creel, who had fought many a battle for free speech. 
'^ In a very short time this bureau gathered into its offices 
a score of excellent men who worked faithfully to the end of 
the war, endeavouring not so much to censor and issue orders 
to public speakers and writers as to persuade and lead them 
to publish only such information as would assist the Govern- 
ment in its efforts to bring Germany to her knees./ It was 
leadership and not coercion that made this work so successful 
in spite of the constant jealousy of certain members of Con- 
gress and the inveterate enmity of certain great newspaper 
corporations. Information was seut daily to the press; 
agents were sent out to explain the causes of the war to cer- 
tain elements of the German and Irish population; documents 
were spread broadcast over the country; representatives were 
commissioned to all the allied nations to explain the efforts of 
the United States and stimulate the enthusiasm of peoples 
worn out with the long and disastrous war; and propaganda 
was sent over the lines into Germany. . When the history of 
the war is finally written the work of the Creel bureau will 
have an honourable )place in the record. ' 

But as the war went on Congress became impressed 
with the facts of the case. The various and intricate ways 
in which German representatives, still in the coimtry, and 
Americans with strong Grermanophile sympathies control- 
led important industries were brought out by the Federal 
and War Trade boards. Congress was convinced of the 
necessity for action, even in a field so difficult as that of 
rigid control of public speech and public print. The Es- 
pionage Act was passed on June 17, 1917, and amended upon 
recommendation of the Department of Justice in May, 1918, 


so as to confer practically unlimited powers upon the Govern- 
ment. Under the increasing stimulant of war, the Judiciary 
Coramittee of the Senate was ready to go much further dur- 
ing the autumn and winter of 1918-19 to protect the country 
against what was called bolshevism.^ 

Under the cover of these laws and supported by an over- 
whelming public opinion, men were imprisoned for speaking 
too freely, and for giving aid to the enemy; severe penalties 
of narrow-minded cotirtsrmartial were enforced; and some pe- 
riodicals were temporarily suppressed. Conscientious objec- 
tors to military service of any kind proved to be one of the 
special difficulties. A great outcry was made, particularly 
about the treatment of Eugene V. Debs, whose offence was 
constructive rather than direct and extreme, and about ^e 
cruelties of certain military prison camps. It is certain that 
the Constitution was violated in many of the clauses of the 
various laws on the subject of free speech; and the spirit of 
the older American ideals was ignored from start to finish. 
It must not be forgotten, however, that it is the duty of 
Congress to wage war when that becomes necessary. The 
history of the United States from the first year of the Rev- 
olution to the close of the Philippine War offers frequent 
evidence of more drastic punishments and more widespread 
violations of the ideal of American institutions than even the 
most irreconcilable critic of Mr. Wilson can cite against him. 
Without formal law to support him President Lincoln seized 
hundreds of prominent men and thrust them into prison 
where they remained months and years without charges be- 
ing preferred against them. He proclaimed martial law in 
districts where there was no war, and he suspended the writ 
of habeas corpus upon his own authority. He suspended im- 
portant newspapers indefinitely and placed armed men at 

iLiberalg are generally agreed that it went too far. 


election places to control the vote of the civil population.* 
Lincoln is the great political saint of the country and he 
deserves the honour that history has awarded him. 

Wilson did not choose to do any of the things I have 
mentioned upon his own volition. He secured from Congress 
the enactment of laws to cover his acts. To the end of 
the war with Germany he insisted upon mild punishments 
and refrained, I believe, from ordering anybody before a fir- 
ing squad. To be sure the United States was far from the 
scene of conflict, as a distinguished historian has observed,^ 
and there was less public anxiety. Yet the stress of war was 
very great in the spring and summer of 1918, and plain coun- 
try folk who composed the body of the Wilson support 
thought there were millions of Germans in the country who 
would defeat the allied cause if possible. 

In the early days of the war Wilson issued an earnest appeal 
to the farmers of the country to put forth their utmost efforts 
to overcome the food shortage of the world. And there was, 
in fact, a shortage of cereals and provisions in the United 
States. Moreover, there was, as we have seen, a growing 
shortage of labour on the farms. To overcome the diflSculty 
which might easily have become a decisive factor in the strug- 
gle, he called Herbert C. Hoover, who had won the love of the 
whole Uberal world as manager of the Belgian Relief, to or- 
ganize a food-conservation movement. Congress expressed 
doubts about allowing Mr. Hoover the powers which his 
proposed office would require. The President insisted, in 
accordance with his established view, that one man and only 
one man should be given the decisive voice in the problem 

•J. F. Rhodes, "History of the United States," IV, 164-66. The fact that slave states Ox 
Kentucky, Missouri, and Maryland furnished votes in Congress to sustain Lincoln's pohcies 
is significant. 

^FrofesBor William A. Dunning in the American Siatarical Review, July, 1919, makes an ad- 
mirable comparison of Wilson and Lincoln in this respect. 


of food conservation. Congress yielded after some delay 
and the Hoover "dictatorship" was quickly set up. Higher 
and guaranteed prices to farmers for certain staple products 
were announced by the Food Administration or voted by Con- 
gress. Experts were engaged to deal with the Chicago pack- 
ers, with exporters of grain, and With farmers' organizations. 
Posters were sent all over the country advertising what people 
should eat and what they should drink; agents were sent out 
to teach men and women how to preserve fruits and vegeta- 
bles. EflForts were made to prevent the enormous wastage 
of food in the greater cities. 

It was in the main a campaign of voluntary eflFort. Men 
and women worked for a dollar a year with Mr. Hoover; 
people saved food, planted war gardens, and otherwise lent 
aid to the Goverimient in hundreds of ways. But Congress 
gave the full support of law to the greater operations of the 
Food Administration, while the President by executive order 
aided in the regulation and control of millers, the purchase of 
government suppUes, and the export of foodstuffs to Europe. 
As the United States became early in 1918 the only available 
source of supply for the feeding of millions of men and animals 
fighting on the. western front, and the whole mass of these 
supplies was imder the control of the Food Administration, 
the President, acting through Mr. Hoover, became a dictator 
of world affairs unprecedented in history. It was, though, a 
dictatorship that could not continue a moment after the close 
of the war. 

In all that was done by the Food Administration the De- 
partment of Agriculture lent enthusiastic assistance. There 
were state, county, and town agents of the Department where- 
ever there was a chance for effective assistance or where 
farmers needed advice and stimulus. All the varied in- 
dustries that furnished farms with implements, or fruit-grow- 


ers with cans or other supphes, were taken in control either by 
the Food Administration or the Department of Agriculture. 
Ill organized as the United States was, under the pressure 
of Wilson's leadership and the spur of a constantly growing 
appreciation of the meaning of the great war, Germany her- 
self was given lessons in national coSperation and energy. 

The cost of such a war as that of 1917 was a problem of the 
utmost importance, the more in a country where every priv- 
ate soldier must receive pay equal to that of oflBcers on the 
continent of Europe and where young men in the training 
camps must have something of the comforts amd amusements 
to which they had been accustomed at home. To meet this 
cost, which soon amounted to a billion a month, Wilson had 
unconsciously made preparation in the income-tax system 
that had been fairly elaborated before the war came upon 
the United States. Secretary McAdoo worked out the 
arrangements which the President approved. The first 
grant of Congress was for three and a quarter billions of dol- 
lars; a second grant was made in October, 1917, of more than 
seven and a half billions. Thus the nation continued in- 
creasing its appropriations to the cause till somewhat more 
than thirty billions was actually spent or loaned to the allied 
governments before the return of the President from the 
Peace Conference in June, 1919.^ 

How these enormous and unprecedented sums of money 
were spent will not be known, in detail, until a formal history 
of the war is published. But in the building of camps for 
soldiers, the purchase of supplies, the commandeering of rail- 
roads and ships, the manufacture of guns, aircraft, and am- 
munition of every kind, great sums were expended. The 
loans to the allied governments amounted to ten billions. 
Billions were spent upon the building of new ships, war and 

'Estimate of .Secretary Glass published on July 9, 1919. Chicago Tribune, July 10, IS18. 


commercial, upon ship-building plants, and upon houses for 
carpenters who worked for the Government at scores of 

To meet these expenditures, taxes were laid upon ordinary 
incomes, business corporations, and excess profits at rates 
that yielded as high as five or six billions a year when the war 
drew to a close. Some men paid several millions a year taxes 
to the Federal Treasury; thousands of men paid each a hun- 
dred thousand a year. States like New York, Massachusetts, 
and Illinois each turned into the National Treasury a sum of 
money that equals the total income of the Government before 
1900. Not only taxes were laid and collected. Loans were 
asked twice a year that ranged from two to six billions. The 
rate of interest was low. But the bonds were over-subscribed 
each time and the takers sometimes numbered twenty million 
different persons. These loans were made for short terms, 
the idea of Wilson and his advisers being that the bonds 
should all be redeemed in a few years by means of heavy 

Although Wilson had not been reared an admirer of 
Thomas Jefferson, he and the men about him in 1917 were 
^distinctly of the Jefferson school of leaders. They believed 
that debts, even in a great world war, should not be deferred 
to future generations with long-continued payment of in- 
terest to bond-holders. For a time they insisted that half 
the cost of the war should be paid by taxation. Secretary 
McAdoo was of the same mind. Claude Kitchin, the leader 
of the House, although he was frequently out of harmony 
with the President, insisted upon this point of view. When 
the burdens of the struggle doubled and trebled, it was rec- 
ognized that the payment of a third of the cost of the war 
out of taxes would be as much as could reasonably be ex- 
pected. There was some opposition to such unprecedented 


war finance; but the wealthy groups of the North and East 
were so generally interested in the outcome that resistance 
amounted to nothing. 

Most other great wars of the United States had been fi- 
nanced by bond issues and paid very slowly out of tariff taxes 
borne by the poor rather than by the wealthy. Some Amer- 
ican wars created vast amounts of bonds, fluid capital, whose 
holders quickly acquired an undue control over the Govern- 
ment itself .'^ It was the merit of the Wilson war finance that 
a great volume of the debt was placed among people of small 
means and even among day labourers. Instead of asking 
the willing Federal Reserve banks, with others, to take and 
place the loans, the Treasury Department set up agencies 
of its own to sell the bonds. Although many of the greater 
financial leaders of the country had never forgiven the drastic 
changes of the Federal Reserve system, and although most 
bankers were a little sore at the start, all joined hands and 
worked without charge and in full harmony with the Govern- 
ment. The ready absorption of loans that mounted to six 
billions at one call by a public never before accustomed to take 
government securities is proof enough of the will and the 
spirit of all classes. It was a new day and men took it as 

As the nation put itself in war array, the President un- 
folded more and more the extraordinary powers of the Amer- 
ican executive. And in a case where the mind of the country 
was so nearly a unit, as much of these powers was due to 
moral suasion and high leadership as to the formal enactments 
of Congress. The farmers rallied to the President; the 
labour organizations of the country, with the exception of the 
so-called I. W. W. groups, agreed not to strike, or in the event 
of strikes to submit to arbitration by the War Labour Board 

■For example, at the end of the Civil War. 


of which ex-President Taft and Mr. Frank Walsh were joint 
chairmen. Before the end of May, 1917, Daniel Willard, 
president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, summoned, 
on the request of Mr. Wilson, all the railroad presidents of 
the country to Washington where they readily agreed to 
subordinate all individual and railway interests to those of 
the Government. A railroad war board was established. Its 
object was to coordinate the work of transportation and 
management so that the least possible misunderstanding and 
cross purposes should interfere with the efficiency of the 
country at war. 

From the beginning Wilson worked through and with a 
group of business men and members of the Cabinet who stood 
in close touch with the business of war, known since the latter 
part of 1916 as the Council of National Defence. These were 
selected simply for their knowledge of conditions and not 
for political reasons. Some were Republicans, others were 
Democrats. It was not a question of social policy but simply 
one of winning the war as soon as possible. These men 
brought the various interests of industry, agriculture, trans- 
portation, exports, and finance into harmony. There were 
subordinate boards connected with the departments of the 
Government or with the Council of National Defence for 
every important function. Washington became before the end 
of 1 9 1 8 a vast and busy workshop . Thousands of the well-to- 
do went there and gladly worked without pay; others, experts 
in the sciences, gathered there to place at the disposal of 
the public whatever of knowledge or ingenuity they possessed. 
Wilson said it was a great inspiration to watch the nation at 
war and to receive stimulating support from so many men of 
all walks of life who asked nothing for themselves.' 

^An excellent treatment of this whole subject will be found in "The American Yearbook." 
(or 191S, pp. 38-81. by W. F. Willoughby. 


While the forces of society were applied to the new task, 
Wilson kept his mind then, as ever, upon his main duty, that 
of retaining the ear of the great public and of raising the tone 
of public opinion. Having urged so long the necessity of 
neutrality and talked of the need for Americans to "keep 
their heads," of "peace without victory," and of the " obscure 
causes" of the war, he now sought to stir in the people the 
necessary indignation toward the German authorities. "The 
war was begun by the militaiy masters of Germany. Their 
purpose had long been avowed, expounded in their class- 
rooms and set forth to the world as the goal of German policy. 
Their plan was to throw a belt of German military power 
and political control across the very centre of Europe and 
beyond the Mediterranean into the very heart of Asia. They 
would set German princes upon the tl^rones of the Balkan 
states, put German officers at the service of Turkey, develop 
plans of sedition and rebeUion in Egypt and India, and set 
their fires in Persia. From Hamburg to the Persian Gulf 
the net is spread. And now they talk of peace. It has 
come to me in all sorts of guises, but never with the terms 
disclosed. They have many pawns in their hands. They 
still hold a valuable part of France. Their armies press dose 
on Russia and overrun Poland. They can not go farther, 
they dare not go back. They wish to close their bargain be- 
fore it is too late. The military masters under whom Ger- 
many is bleeding see very clearly to what point Fate has 
brought them: if they fall back or are forced back an inch, 
their power abroad and at home will fall to pieces. 

"But we are not the enemies of the German people and 
they are not our enemies. They did not originate or desire 
this hideous war or wish that we should be drawn into it, and 
we are vaguely conscious that we are fighting their cause, as 
they will some day see it themselves. They are in the grip 


of the same sinister power that has stretched its ugly talons 
out and drawn blood from us. If their masters fail, the 
German people will thrust them aside. A government ac- 
countable to the people will be set up in Germany, as has 
been the case in England and France — in all great countries 
of modern times. 

"For us there was but one choice. We have made it, 
and woe be to that man, or that group of men, that seeks 
to stand in our way in this day of high resolution, when 
every principle we hold dearest is to be vindicated and made 
secure for the salvation of the nation. We are ready to 
plead at the bar of history, and our flag shall wear a new 
lustre. Once more we shall make good with our lives and 
fortunes the great faith to which we are born, and a new glory 
shall shine in the face of our people."' 

In spite of all that critics had said of his former attitude 
and were soon to say of the new policy, this was no funda- 
mental change on his part. It is the idealist and the demo- 
crat waging war upon autocracy. Like Burke of old he could 
not find a way to indict a whole people. To him the German 
people was a helpless, deluded race, unconvinced of the great 
wrong it was doing the world. It was the kind of lan- 
guage Lincoln held all through the American Civil War, the 
language of every leader who believes in popular self-govern- 
ment. While Wilson had professed a complete neutrality 
in the earlier years and even implied that all parties to the 
great war were seeking national or class aggrandizement, he 
had never condoned the conduct of the militarists in Berlin. 
Now he would, if possible, bring down upon their heads the 
anger of the German people themselves. It was his opportun- 
ity. Neither the English nor the French leaders could work 

'From a speech made at the Washington Monnment, June 14, 1917, in G. M. Harper'l 
"Addresses," S59-64. I have condensed and in a few sentences changed the tense. 


thus upon the underpinning of the German system. Once 
again it may well be noted that it was the way of Lincoln 
in dealing with Jefferson Davis and his immediate surround- 
ing, but I do not mean to compare Davis to the German 
militarists. It took Lincoln four years to win; nor can it be 
said that he weakened the hold of the Confederate leadership 
upon the Southern people. Would Wilson succeed.'' 

To further Wilson's plans, the French and the English 
missions of May, 1917, visited Washington and the chief 
cities of the country. Foreign Secretary Balfour and General 
Joffre held conferences with the President and the heads of the 
departments of the Government. They showed themselves 
to vast crowds of people and impressed upon the imagination 
of the country the need of instant and substantial assistance. 
They crossed the ocean in the midst of the worst of the sub- 
marine menaces, and men wondered whether they might 
return unharmed or return at all to their beleaguered coun- 

It was a summer of solemn disillusionment. The Russian 
Revolution was fully revealed. Americans instinctively re- 
joiced. Another republic, possibly a democracy, was about to 
be set up. Of course the Russian people would continue to 
fight the German war lords. A moderate socialist, Alexander 
Kerensky, was quickly elevated to the leadership of the Rus- 
sian people. He called upon all classes to help him win the 
war. "Then," he added, "we shall have our republic." 
Wilson was moved to send a cordial address in which he 
said: "The position of America in this war is so clearly 
avowed that no man can be excused for mistaking it. . . . 
We are fighting for the liberty, the self-government, and the 
imdictated development of all peoples. . . . The prin- 
ciple is plain. No people must be forced under sovereignty 
under which it does not wish to live. No territory must 


change hands except for the purpose of securing for those who 
inhabit it a fair chance of life and liberty. No indemnities 
must be insisted upon except those that constitute payment 
for manifest wrongs done. And then the free peoples of the 
world must draw together in some common covenant, some 
genuine and practical cooperation that will in effect combine 
their force to secure peace and justice in the dealings of na- 
tions with one another. The brotherhood of mankind must 
no longer be a fair but empty phrase; it must be given a struc- 
ture of force and reality. . . . For these things we can 
afford to pour out our blood and treasure."^ 

To explain the United States to Russia a commission was 
sent across the Pacific and through Siberia to St. Petersburg. 
It was headed by one of the ablest of all American reaction- 
aries, Elihu Root; but Charles Edward Russell, Socialist, was 
also of the group. A Red Cross mission was later sent, and 
Raymond Robins, a representative of the Roosevelt Repub- 
licans, was placed at its head. Perhaps two score men of all 
shades of opinion composed the two delegations to Russia. 
They carried the best of wishes and the protnise of all the as- 
sistance the country could give, if the Russians would con- 
tinue the fight against Germany, This was asking a great 
deal from a people literally broken under the wheels of the 
terrible German war chariot, promising a great deal from a 
country that must from that time forward lend money, ma- 
terials, and men to the powers then fighting under the utmost 
tension on the western front. Kerensky failed, as any other 
leader must have failed. The simple Russian peasantry, 
released from the rigid law of the military system of the old 
regime, simply laid down arms and returned to their homes. 

The United States must, therefore, take the place of Russia 
and send great armies to the western front or see the western 

>Robiii9oii and West, "The Foreign Policy of Woodiow Wilson," 39»-*00. 


allies broken. Germany was in her strongest position as 
Russia fell away broken and helpless. Yet she called upon 
\the Pope to appeal to the world for a settlement. Benedict 
XV, bitterly hostile to the Italian Government and angered 
at the French for breaking the connection of Catholicism 
with the French Government, called upon Wilson and the 
other representatives of the allied powers to enter into pour- 
paifers for peace upon the basis then existing. It was 
August 1, 1917. Germany was the master everywhere and 
threatening to break with all her power into the plains of 
northeastern Italy. The moment was well chosen. But 
Benedict was not a Hildebrand nor an Innocent III. Wilson 
more nearly resembled the Hildebrandsand the Innocents of 
times past. The country of Luther alone paid court to the 
head of the Roman Church. 

Wilson replied toward the end of August in one of his most 
masterly pieces of diplomacy. To accept the invitation of 
the Pope would be to set up Germany as the master of Europe 
and leave the peoples of oppressed regions helpless and in 
worse plight than ever; Germany would reassemble and re- 
organize the powers the war had all but given her; Europe 
would be compelled to maintain a sort of armed truce till 
the next trial of strength. "We can not take the word of 
the present rulers of Germany as a guarantee of anything 
that is to endure. . . . We must await some new evi- 
dence of the purposes of the great peoples of the Central 

But as Wilson took the lead of the nations in dealing with 
the German oflFer and outward appearances looked well, 
there was, as we now know,^ great trepidation in the councils 
of France and England. The British ambassador in Rome 

^Robinson and West, "The Foreign Policy of Woodrow Wilson," 408-411. 

'The dispatches from Weimar during the closing days of July, 1919, make this very clear. 


sent a message in the midst of these public declarations that 
approached an overture for peace that would have left 
Germany the mistress of Europe. The western Allies had 
little faith that the United States would be able to send troops 
to the western front more quickly than England had sent 
her great army there in 1916. The task of holding back 
the mighty Teutonic forces seemed greater than France and 
England could perform through the long year of 1917 and 
the early summer of 1918; the task seemed the greater since 
there was now little doubt that Russia would cease to fight 
and release all the German troops from the eastern front and 
allow them to attack France on the Somme. The debacle 
of Brest-Litovsk was already evident. The great militarists 
of Germany were convinced that Europe would be at their 
mercy early in 1918. Wilson alone spoke with confidence. 
He would have no peace with the Kaiser; he regretted that 
the Pope had been willing to come to the aid of autocracy. 
It was bold and warlike counsel indeed for a pacifist; a mili- 
tarist, if we are to judge by the evidence the war has supplied 
us, wotild have been inchned to make terms. 

The autumn brought a second revolution in Russia. Fin- 
land broke away from the main empire and permitted the 
Germans to prepare there a throne for a Hohenzollern 
puppet; Ukraine, with its grain harvests oflFering every in- 
ducement to the Germans, set up for itself and invited Ger- 
man troops to assist its new government; Siberia and the 
eastern stretches of Asiatic Russia offered a tempting bait to 
the cupidity of Japan. Messrs. Lenine and Trotsky, re- 
turned exiles respectively from Switzerland and the United 
States, now ruled in the heart of Russia, the great region of 
which Moscow is the centre. They had the most difficult of 
all tasks. Wilson sent them a message, too, hoping to keep 
them within the great family of nations that resisted Ger- 


many. He was conciliatory. Lenine's reply was: "First 
break the power of the capitalists in America, put a score of 
your financial grandees in prison, and we shall be willing to 
treat with you as an ally."^ 

There was no hope in Russia. On the western front 
France wearily held her lines and England struck constantly 
but in vain against her part of the front. Germany was 
surfely feared in the United States as she had never been 
feared before. Every day the need of sending an army to 
Europe seemed to increase. From the beginning there had 
been many who insisted upon sending an army of volunteers. 
Wilson resisted this. Colonel Roosevelt, long the staunchest 
advocate of American intervention in the European war, 
went to Washington and offered his services as the leader of a 
division of volunteers which he would raise. It was said that 
three hundred thousand men would respond to his call. 
There was a certain demand from England and France that 
the ex-president should come to their assistance. There 
was a strong public demand and even a stronger political 
wish that Roosevelt be permitted to command an army in 
the trenches. It was claimed that nearly if not all the 
volunteers would be men too old to be drafted into the 
National Army. 

Although Congress gave its consent in the first Army 
Bill that was passed, Wilson doubted the wisdom of sending 
such an army. He preferred to send Major-General John J. 
Pershing, who had commanded the expeditions into Mexico 
and who was held in high esteem in army circles. The ap- 
pointment was admirable : and the President's unfaltering sup- 
port of the general will receive the verdict of history. Pershing 
was a graduate of West Point, a soldier by profession, and a 

iThese are almost the identical words, duly translated, that were sent to Washington. 


young oflBcer whom President Roosevelt had advanced over 
many of his seniors in 1906 to the rank of brigadier. Persh- 
ing arrived with his staff in Paris on June 14, 1917, and 
began preparations for the Regular Army that was to be sent 
in October, 1917. As quickly as possible the Secretary of 
War and the General Staff worked out the plans for the 
American participation in the war. The Regular Army, with 
support from the National Guard, was to make the first fighting 
unit. They took over an American sector in January, 1918. 
In addition there was to be the great National Army that was 
in training diu-ing the autumn and winter of 1917-18. 

It was hoped that the United States would be able to send 
hundreds of thousands of aircraft to France and smother the 
German advance of the next spring. Howard Coffin, an 
experienced motor engineer of Detroit and a member of the 
Council of National Defence, was placed in charge of the air- 
craft service and given six himdred and fifty milhons of 
dollars with which to hasten construction of the proposed air 
fleet. Engineers were engaged to construct a motor that 
was to be superior to any machine that was then in use. 
After disappointing delays the desired model, the "Liberty," 
was constructed and contracts were let to manufacturers. All 
through the autumn the work of getting ready to make 
motors went on. Of course there were rumours of wilful 
delays and of German spies that disconcerted the public. 
There were from the start delay and wasteful expenditure of 
money and labour.^ 

The Secretary of the Navy was in a better position at the 
beginning of the war for the navy is always ready to mobilize. 
Mr. Daniels had been forehanded also and secured the 
necessary supplies. New and more powerful ships had been 

^The extent and cause of waste and delays were admirably 'set forth in a report which former 
Justice Hughes made in the spring of 1918 at the President's request. 


building for several years. This programme was now hastened. 
Rear-Admiral Sims, one of the most ardent of the Navy 
reformers during the last dozen years, was placed in command, 
and a large part of the war fleet hastened to the aid of Eng- 
land. Other commanders were set to guard the coasts and 
harbours of the coimtry. Recruits to the service were 
secured as fast as they could be trained. Contracts for 
submarine chasers were given and hundreds of yachts or 
other ocean-going craft were taken into the national service. 
It was only a short time before Sims was at his post in London, 
dreadnaughts took theirplaces in theNorth Sea, and destroyers 
roved the Atlantic in search of the enemy. But the great 
public saw the end of the year approaching wi,th only a few 
troops in France and the ocean more infested than ever with 
German submarines. Men asked daily about everything; 
the Government could not give out information that would 

Wilson endeavoured constantly to stir men's emotions and 
hopes. He spoke in October to the American Federation 
of Labour and once more emphasized the democratic char- 
acter of the struggle in so far as the United States was con- 
cerned. He urged labourers to lend their best eiforts to the 
building of ships, aircraft, the making of ammunition, and the 
dispatching of railway traffic of every sort. Labour could 
win the war; it might lose the war. But one thing he would 
have everybody imderstand, there could be no peace by any 
other road than that of urgent warfare. Pacifism could no 
longer be tolerated. There were constant rumours of new 
German peace proposals as the winter approached. He 
forew3,rned men against all such overtures. It was a fore- 
shadowing of the "force-to-the-uttermost" doctrine that was 
to be preached the next year. 

This conciliatory and nerving address to organized labour 


was but preliminary to the greater mobilization of all the 
forces of the country that Germany might to be baulked ere it 
Was too late. One of the most important items of this en- 
ergetic course of the President was the taking over of the 
railway systems of the country on December 28, 1917. It 
will be remembered that, in May preceding, Wilson brought 
all the railroad presidents into co3peration with the Govern- 
ment. A sort of priority system of forwarding was set up and 
agents of the War Department, cooperating with others from 
the Department of Agriculture, determined what goods 
should have precedence and what roads should yield strategic 
termini to the use of other roads and the public. As the 
Germans continued their frightful way into northern Italy, 
it was seen that no railroad and no private interest must be 
permitted to delay the fullest and quickest activity of the 

To improve the transportation system Wilson "took 
charge" of, all the great roads and placed Secretary McAdoo 
in personal control.* It was a bold thing to do. But 
very few quarrelled with the President for it. The tem- 
per of the country was such that anything Wilson thought 
to be necessary to defeat the Germans would have been 
tolerated. The need of quick support to the Allies was the 
one criterion by which things must be judged and performed. 
The President said that it was not because the railroad oflBcials 
had failed; it was to secure unity of action. He asked all 
parties in interest to lend their utmost help, and there can be no 
doubt that both the labour and the capitalist elements quick- 
ened their pace. One thing that was significant for the future 
was the plain intimation of the great railway brotherhoods, 
engineers, firemen, and conductors, about the same time, that 
they would not consent again to become the employes of the 

'Thu more was duly explained in a message to Congress on January 4, 1918. 


private owners of the roads. They were anxious to serve 
the public, but not the capitahsts and absentee owners of the 

Another thing that caused some thought among the dis- 
interested was the promise of the President to have the 
Government pay the stock- and bond-holders of the railroads 
an income equal to the average of the returns of the roads 
during the preceding three years, that is, at the high rate of 
earnings which the great war had given them. This guar- 
antee of dividends was to continue eighteen months after the 
close of the war. Of course the public must pay all such 
charges. Moreover, the conditions of the time made im- 
mediate increase of wages to a vast army of employes neces- 
sary. The public must also pay this. At the close of the 
war both the high fixed charges and a wage fund of at least 
a billion dollars annually more than had been paid under 
private ownership would have to be met. Thus the war was 
compelling revolutionary social changes. Whatever poli- 
ticians and interested security holders might wish, the 
"scrambled railroads" could never be entirely unscrambled. 
Besides a powerful interest, the bond- and stock-holders 
would inevitably become attached to a system that guar- 
anteed incomes. 

Wilson said in his statement of the case: "I earnestly 
recommend that these guarantees be given by appropriate 
legislation, and given as promptly as circumstances permit. 
I need not point out the essential justice of such guarantees 
and their great influence and significance as elements in the 
present financial and industrial situation of the country!" 

There was indeed nothing else to do. The President did the 
one thing needful; but he laid the foundation for the per- 
manent public ownership of all the great transportation lines 
in the near future. Labour was then intimating as much; 


now it will have nothing less than a final and permanent dis- 
missal of the capitahstic element in the problem. When the 
railroads become public property, other great interests will 
inevitably follow the same course. It is not politics; it is not 
what men call dogmatic socialism.' It is the way marked 
out by events, from which there is no escape. But while 
domestic events took this significant turn, even more serious 
omens appeared in the international skies. 

In December the German and Austrian governments sent 
representatives to Brest-Litovsk to conclude a peace with 
broken Russia. Germany had agreed to accept the formula 
which the Bolsheviki announced to the world in November, 
1917, namely, that there were to be no annexations and no 
indemnities in any peace which Russia should make. Con- 
fronted, however, with unarmed men, the Germans exacted a 
peace that dismembered Russia and also huge contribu- 
tions of gold. While this bold annovmcement of the German 
policy was making, a vast army of Germans and Austrians 
fell upon Italy, drove General Cadoma from the Julian Alps, 
and crossed one Italian river after another until German guns 
threatened Venice and the rich industrial region of the North. 
The fall of Italy seemed imminent at Christmas, 1917. If 
the Italian resistance were broken, nothing could prevent 
Germany from organizing all that historic northern country 
that Ues between Venice and Milan. From Piedmont, the 
German generals would then descend upon southern France, 
and make useless all those defences on the Somme front 
which had so long withstood all attack. In Paris, in London, 
and in Washington the worst was daily feared. Moreover, 
the use which Germany was able to make of the new social 

^This view is the result oE the study of many speeches and articles which appeared in the 
Japan Rtvimo and other publications friendly to Jfl()an. 


gospel which came out of Russia was very threatening. Not 
only the Italian soldiers, but the war-worn Frenchmen 
hearkened to the so-called "new freedom." Mutinies were 
threatened in the French armies. lU news came upon 
every wind. From the Far East came veiled threats that, 
after all that had been done in Europe, the war might yet 
be lost if Japan did not receive her price. 

When the great war opened Japan quickly showed a dis- 
position to make the utmost use of the world crisis for her own 
advantage. Great Britain held vast possessions in the Far 
East; France was mistress of an empire to the south of 
China; and the Dutch held rich islands in the Pacific. Japa- 
nese statesmen declared that the civilization of the West 
was about to fall' and that the time had come for Japan to 
realize her world mission. The very language of Prussia and 
her Junkers was daily reproduced in the papers of Tokio. 
Count Okuma, whether in office or out of office, voiced the 
ambitions of the Japanese imperialists. To any one who read 
the news of the Far East in 1915-17, it was clear enough 
that Britain and France must play a very careful r6le in 
every part of the world, lest Japan oust them from China and 
set up a vast protectorate from Siberia to the Indian Ocean. 
In order to prevent Japan from making such use of the 
occasion, England and France promised everything possible. 
It was a case of winning or losing the war with Germany. 
Japan did indeed decide to cast her lot in 1914 with Britain 
and France and drive Germany out of the Shantung peninsula, 
at the same time releasing British ships in the Pgx:ific for 
service in home waters. When, however, this great service 
was done, Japanese statesmen began to threaten China with 
complete subjection; England and Holland with the seizure of 

^This view is the resist of the study of many speeches and articles which appeared in the 
Japan Reviffio and other publications^riendly to Japan. 


Borneo, Java, and Sumatra; and France with the loss of 
Cochin China.i A ready agreement with Germany might 
easily have been made.'' Before the autumn of 1917 was old 
British leaders urged Wilson to "Keep Japan off of us!" 
When Wilson was summoning all men to join him in making 
a world free and safe for all peoples, the little along with the 
great, a commission was sent to Washington to wring from 
him concessions that were designed to subject China to Japan 
and make of Japan the mistress of the Far East. Nothing 
shows better the spirit with which many men of all countries 
went into the great war than the demands of Baron Ishii upon 
the United States. There was nothing in the East from 
Siberia to the Philippine Islands that the Japanese might not 
have had if they had promptly gone over to the German side. 
Every thoughtful observer feared every day that Japan 
would make this move. England and France asked a great 
deal of Wilson when they said "Keep Japan off of us." Could 
Wilson perform the service? And if so what must be the 
means ? He could grant them concessions in Mexico and equal 
rights in California, but the country would have repudiated the 
grants with the deepest anger. He could leave them a free 
hand or a semi-free hand in China, and let distraught China pay 
the cost. The people of the country would denounce that, 
but with less of anger than the other. Wilson chose the lesser 
of two evils. He could not exactly refuse to Japan in China 
what England had enjoyed there nearly a hundred years. In 
other words, the economic exploitation of the Shantung penin- 
sula was tacitly accepted in the Ishii-Lansing Agreement of 
1917. It was plainly that or a German victory everywhere. 
One may take one's choice.' 

^A definite campaign for extensive annexations reached this climax in the autumn of 1917> 
•It was reported that an American newspaper correspondent carried the statement^ or 

Bethmann-Hollweg, that Japan was about to desert England, directly to the British Poreiga 

Office in the antunm of 1917. 
•This is the writer's interpretation of what transpired. 


Wilson was hardly through with these negotiations when 
Congress reassembled in December. Many of the members 
were angry at the turn of things. Many were scared, as half 
the world was desperately scared, at the onward march of 
the German legions. Wilson remained perfectly cool. He 
addressed Congress, saying: "Nothing shall turn us from our 
course"; he spoke words of sympathy for the Russian people 
fallen into the hands of an implacable foe; he reassured the 
various subjugated nationalities of eastern Europe.'^ 

Once again several of the 60-called fourteen points were 
clearly enunciated. Congress gave assent if not approval. 
But neither Congress nor the coimtry really understood what 
was meant by such far-reaching propositions. From the evi- 
dence that became vocal and even shrieking immediately after 
the signing of the armistice with Germany, the articulate 
elements of the country had no thought of supporting the 
President in what he so nobly enunciated in the winter of 

Nor did Wilson himself think that business men would 
willingly consent to any Golden-Rule diplomacy at the end of 
the war. He nevertheless moved forward under the impulse 
of a certain weight of approval from the inarticulate masses, 
as well as under the necessity of appealing to the hard-pressed 
masses of Europe who vaguely hoped that Wilson might 
prove to be a sort of Messiah who might save them from the 
hard lot they had suffered for a thousand years. Germans, 
Italians, and Frenchmen looked at that time to the President 
of the United States as the hope of the world. Thus Wilson 
came to the greatest of all his war messages, that in which he 
formulated the fourteen points. It was the climax of Wil- 
son's moral leadership. A great lawyer, accustomed to the 

iThe press dispatches of August &-7, 1919, in all the American papers reveal the gravity of 
the situation* as he must have known it in 1917. 


hard realities of big business, declared that Wilson spoke 
"like God Almighty." Col. George Harvey, the too-ardent 
friend of former years, ridiculed the fourteen points as "the 
fourteen commandments." What the western AUies thought 
of this bold undoing of the half-score of secret treaties 
which they had been compelled to make in order to prevent 
Germany from taking possession of Europe has not yet been 
made public. It can hardly be doubted that they were 
displeased. Nor can one think that Wilson himself looked 
the Japanese ambassador boldly in the face so soon after the 
doubtful concessions which Secretary Lansing had been 
brought to make with Baron Ishii . Was Wilson only sketching 
what he wished to bring men to accept rather than what he 
had any hope of making men do in the eventual peace con- 

Whatever one may say to this query, the fourteen points 
laid down a magnificent programme of world i)eace. They 
pointed the way to a new world. There were to be no more 
secret treaties. The water ways of the world were to be "ab- 
solutely" free both in peace and in war. There was to be free 
trade everywhere if this was possible. Warlike instruments 
were not to be manufactured in the future, save in so far as 
necessary for police protection. Old colonial sores were to 
be healed and the dependent races given a new control of 
themselves. These are the points that must have been in- 
tended to apply to all belligerents alike. 

Eight of the remaining pronouncements were to apply to 
Grermany and the lands her armies had overrun or to Austria 
and Turkey; Russia must be restored, and Russia would 
supply the "acid test" of the allied pretensions to democracy. 

>T]ie address of Januaiy 8, 1918, to both.bouses of Congress. It may be had from the Gov- 
cnusent Printing Office in Washington at any time. 


Belgium must be evacuated and restored. Devastated 
France must likewise be made good and the wrong of Alsace- 
Lorraine must be righted. Italy should have the "unre- 
deemed" lands in which a majority of the population spoke 
the Italian language. The peoples of Austria-Hungary must 
be given autonomy. All the Balkan states were to be 
restored and set up according to the same principle of na- 
tionality. The Turks were to have what was plainly theirs, 
but they were not to control other peoples or hinder the 
free passage of ships and goods through the Dardanelles. 
And Poland should be made free and independent after the 
hundred and fifty years of semi-slavery which eastern Europe 
had imposed upon it. All these conditions Germany was to 
be compelled to meet before there could be peace or parley 
of any kind. 

Last and greatest in the mind of the President was the 
coven ant of "free peoples" for a league of nations that should 
not only prevent future conflicts but serve as a sort of federal 
constitution of the world and guarantee the enforcement of, 
the terms outlined aboveTj From the summer of 1915 
Wilson had busied himself with the idea of a world league 
that was to prevent war and tend to bring all mankind into a 
sort of confederation. It was the idea that ex-President 
Taft and the League to Enforce Peace had worked upon 
since the beginning of the great war and even before that 
time. Of course the President, a party leader as well as a 
responsible statesman, could not in so many words adopt the 
Taft idea. He did in fact, however, accept the work done 
and the principles enunciated. This was one of those links 
that tended to unite the President and the ex-President in 
ways that went far' to make the power of the nation 

■Whatever one may say of the success or failure of Wilson's 


I diplomacy at Paris, the fourteen points remain the greatest 
' of all pronoimcements ever made by a responsible head of a 
J great government upon the ideal terms of a world federation. 
The programmes of Henry IV of France, of Napoleon I, or of 
the mad William II were all put forward for the aggrandize- 
ment of themselves or of their countries. And the various 
popes of the Middle Ages who sought a unity of the world 
under the shepherd of Rome had the grandeur of the Church 
or of themselves in mind. Wilson doubtless felt the personal 
note in his scheme. But he was not asking for anything for 
his country, nor for himself. If he won, if the wcwld per- 
mitted his ideas to become effective, he must indeed become 
one of the greatest of all the leaders of men, but he could 
not profit from this success for he, in a few short years, must 
retire from great affairs. There can be no doubt that Wil- 
son rose to great heights on January 8, 1918; and if anything 
permanent comes of his league, history will ever reckon him 
among the foremost benefactors of men. 

It was not possible that Congress or the leaders of the 
United States, placed historically as Congress and these lead- 
ers were placed, would allow the spokesman of the provincial 
masses of America, the voice of farmers and old-fashioned 
Protestants, to carry forward these great plans uninterrupted. 
It could not be. So great a fame and so great a r6le for him 
and his country were impossible when weak or selfish men — 
and who is neither weak nor selfish.'' — held high position in 
Washington. When Wilson spoke " like God Almighty," and 
when all the world hearkened to his every word or act, he 
was about to sustain an attack that came near to breaking 
his power and disturbing the whole conduct of the war. 
Powerful men, long used to adulation from a vast public, 
viewed this overweening prestige of Wilson, this apparent 
sway of the hated Democratic party, as a great danger to the 


Republic. Wilson was about to be made the object of the 
greatest and the best-prepared attack that had ever been 
made upon him, or upon any of his predecessors since nearly 
all the famous Republican leaders requested Lincoln to 
withdraw from the Republican ticket in 1864 after he had 
been renominated by an almost unanimous vote.' How Wil- 
son met and overcame his opponents in the winter of 1918 
is the necessary problem of our next chapter. 

'J. F. Rhodes, "History of the United States," New York, 1906, III, Sl7-Si0. 


THE darkest hour of the great war and one of the dark 
hours of modern history was that period which followed the 
great German drive upon Italy in the late autumn of 1917. 
Men reasoned that the German strategists had scored one 
other great advantage and that they would, after all the 
bloodshed of the war and all the huge debts heaped upon all 
nations, march through Italy as Napoleon had done in 1796- 
97 and dictate a peace to a broken world in comparison to 
which Campo Formio was but child's play. That was the 
thought of educated men who worked in Washington or 
gathered upon the street corners of American cities at Christ- 
mas time, 1917. In Washington it was called a blue Christ- 
mas; in Philadelphia and New York the tone was the same, 
but it was tinged with a hatred of President Wilson that 
did not prevail at the capital. This dark hour continued 
almost without interruption tiU the allied forces broke the 
edge of the German offensive in August, 1918. 

In all of this Wilson maintained an optimistic attitude. 
His idealism, his faith in humanity and in a new world-order 
at the end of the war remained absolutely unchanged. His 
"fourteen points" put out, as I have said, on Jackson day, 
were proof of this. The hard heads of business men, of law- 
yers who win their cases in courts, and of politicians who 
foregather in times of stress, wagged in doubt. The world 
could not be saved by words. Germany was the mistress 



of Real'politih, and Realpolitik had held France by the throat 
nearly four years and bowled England over every time she 
attempted to come too near. Was it any time for humane 
and kindly policies? Would the world ever respond to the 
ideals of democracy as set forth in Wilson's beautiful phi- 
losophy? In the midst of adversity, men abandbn their faith 
and "curse God himself," as they often do when overwhelmed 
by prosperity. The people of the United States were in a 
mood to abandon Wilson if not to curse God in the winter of 
1918, just as the people of the United States were ready to 
abandon Lincoln in the awful summer of 1864.* It was the 
time when Sheridan devastated the valley of Virginia to the 
limit of his ability and when Sherman proposed to teach 
Georgia non-combatants the meaning of war. Would Wilson 
abandon his high tone and really set loose the dogs of 

At this hour all the doubting Thomases in the Democratic 
party counted noses and talked of Wilson's autocracy, while 
all the irreconcilable Republicans laid plans to unhorse the 
President. This is a well-considered statement which I am 
sure the records will one day fully sustain. At present the 
deeds of men must be taken as evidence of their purposes. 
Later, their purposes, not now fully revealed in deeds, will be 
known. Nor must one judge too severely. History is a 
strange mistress. The men who saddened the last days of 
Washington's life were the very men whom the nation was 
speedily to honour and still honours without stint. The men 
who demanded the impeachment of Lincoln in private and 
daily assailed him in public were later the honoured leaders of 
the people. One thinks of Chase who was counted a great 
chief justice; of Sumner who was the summation of all that 

U. F. Rhodes, " History of the United States*'* cited above. Nor does Rhodes give the whole 
of the dark picture. 


New England admired for fifteen years after Lincoln's death; 
^ and of Thaddeus Stevens who was the soul of the drastic re- 
construction policy of 1866 which was substituted for that of 
Lincoln. I say one must not judge too severely. ; 

From the day the "wilful eleven" senators blocked some 
of the most important war moves of the President in March, 
1917, Republicans had avowed that there was a truce of 
party poUtics for the period of the war. Wilson and the 
Democrats accepted the vow. But a distinguished leader 
of Republican opinion said to the writer at the time that it 
was an empty vow, that there was no truce. Empty or 
otherwise, there was a certain effort of people who could not 
actually accept any Democrat as president io refrain from 
denouncing him in the presence of strangers. Strange as it 
may appear, the older, gentler, and well-to-do Republicans of 
the cities of the North could not reconcile themselves to the 
reality that Wilson was the lawful head of the nation.' Now 
these very best people of the North, in the midst of a great 
war, were compelled to submit to the leadership of Wilson, a 
Democrat and almost a democrat. 

But all through the summer of 1917 there were outcrop- 
pings of public hostility. The Boston Transcript and the 
Chicago Tribune, the latter a hotly pro-German paper in 
1914, derided the President with such remarks as — "We are 
at war but not in it."^ There were flings at the President 
because he had refused to send Colonel Roosevelt to the 
front. And George Creel's Bureau of Public Information, 
as well as Mr. Hoover's Food Administration, was daily 
attacked. The former was a clownish affair; and the latter 
an autocracy in league with the Chicago packers. That was 

lAn eminent Kistorian has said that such was the feeling of his neighbours from the begin- 
ning of the Wilson presidency. 
■Quoted from The LiUrary Digut, May IS, 1817. 


the small talk of the opposition. Of more moment was the 
movement in Congress in July, 1917, to create a committee 
of both houses to assist the President in the conduct of the 
war. Democrats as well as RepubUcans joined in this effort. 
It was a scheme similar to that which the Republican mem- 
bers of Congress endeavoured to fasten upon Lincoln during 
the Civil War.* The charges against Lincoln were very similar 
to those constantly urged in Congress against Wilson. When 
the movement gained sufficient headway to attract national 
attention, the President issued a vigorous statement to the 
effect that divided authority was perilous, that he could 
not make use of such an agency of Congress even if it were set 
up, and he pointed convincingly to the attitude of President 
Lincoln. There was no reply. Thus ended the first skirm- 

But Lincoln's situation in 1862 was different from that of 
Wilson in 1917. It was the majority party in Congress 
which endeavoured to set up an extra-legal executive agency 
in 1862, and the majority in Congress corresponded fairly 
with the sentiment of the East. But in 1917 the minority 
in Congress pressed the idea, supported by Democrats who 
felt themselves aggrieved or were otherwise out of harmony 
with Wilson. The minority in Congress, however, in 1917, 
represented the dominant social and economic elements of 
the East, those very kindly and earnest folk who could not 
really feel that any Democrat was rightfully president. This 
made it certain that the abortive attempt of the summer of 
1917 would prove to be only the beginning of a greater cam- 
paign if the war continued and blunders of any sort gave 
any fair grounds for hope of success. It must not be for- 
gotten that Wilson has had to fight for his position almost 

>J. F. Rhodes, "History of the United States," IV, U03-80S. 

'A fairly good discussion of the subject appeared in The Nation for August 2, 1917. 


every week since 1913 in a way that a representative <5f the 
industrial interests of the country would not have been re- 
quired to fight.* 

Colonel Roosevelt was sorely disappointed at the refusal 
of the President to allow him to command a great army of 
volunteers in France. And the disappointment was magni- 
fied into a grievance by vast numbers of perfectly devoted 
Americans. Medill McCormick, a representative in Con- 
gress, visited Europe at the time and gave out statements 
to the press that the ministries of France and England were 
constantly wondering why Roosevelt was not sent to France, 
that high military men asked him everywhere why Wilson 
"shelved " General Wood.^ One may be a Uttle surprised that 
any European statesmanshouldallowsuch statements to stand 
unchallenged. But, as I have already pointed out, European 
statesmen were themselves much disgusted that the Ameri- 
can people should have chosen such a man as Wilson in the 
first place. Nor had the election of 1916 quite shown them 
that Colonel Roosevelt was not the better representative of 
American opinion. 

In the interview between Wilson and Roosevelt of May 
7, 1917, when the plan for a division of volunteers under 
command of Roosevelt was under discussion, Roosevelt said : 
"Wilson raised the question of equipment. I told him what 
he already knew — that the Allies would give me all the equip- 
ment needed from their ample stores. They have the equip- 
ment. They need men. I told him it would be preferable 
to use the English or French rifle, first because they were 
ready and again because to use a different type of rifle and 
ammunit ion would mean to complicate transport problems,"' 

■This, I think, will be agreed to by all who have observed the course of events with any degree 
of penetration. 

•Washington Post, January 23-24, 1918. 

^McClure'a Magaziie for October, 1919, page 26. Roosevelt is reported wrbatim. 


But Wilson did not allow Roosevelt to go. General Wood, 
who had the reputation of being the best trainer of troops 
in the country, was retained at home, first in one of the great 
camps and then in another. This was regarded by many 
as a studied affront to the general. And the President, as- 
sisted by the Council of National Defence, continued to con- 
duct the war according to his own ideas and perhaps with too 
little consultation of members of both houses of Congress. 
The way was preparing for a contest that would stir the 

Colonel Roosevelt took the lead. In the Outlook and in the 
Metropolitan Magazine he renewed his bitter attacks upon 
Wilson and the Administration. He declared that "we did 
not go to war to make democracy safe." He compared the 
President to the German leaders in that he had talked of a 
peace of equals only a little while before he entered the 
struggle, and because as a "combination of glib sophistry and 
feeble, sham amiability" he could not wish for any but a 
"soft" peace. Roosevelt was bitter in a great deal that he 
said and did even during the "truce." Nor is it possible 
for the historian to acquit him of personal ends and personal 
disappointments. Even the presidency had had for him 
some of the aspects of private property. And Lincoln he 
could not with patience allow anybody else to quote. It was 
hardly different with the great following that stirred Roose- 
velt to think himself an injured and suffering statesman. It 
was with his followers as it had been seventy-five years before 
with those of Henry Clay. One dared not criticize the chief 
lest one make a personal enemy of a chance acquaintance. 
And everyone of these devoted folk felt that the country's 
ills would all be cured in a moment if only the strenuous colo- 
nel were in Wilson's place. 

It can not be surprising, then, that Roosevelt opened a 


general attack upon Wilson in September, 1917; nor must it 
be forgotten that he received hundreds, even thousands, of 
letters almost daily urging him to worse attacks than even 
he was willing to lead. The book "Foes of Our Own House- 
hold," the corrected proof of which he turned over to the 
publishers on September 1st, was intended as a "big-gun" 
attack upon the President and his cabinet, none of whom 
ever received praise from Roosevelt, except Garrison when 
he left oflBce. The worst foe was the President.* Roosevelt 
forgot that he had said in May that the United States 
should use the guns and ammunition of the Allies both 
because they had an abundance and because such a use of 
material already on the ground would conserve tonnage of 
which there was not half enough. And he also forgot en- 
tirely that it had been Senator Lodge and the other Re- 
publicans in Congress who had defeated the shipping bills 
of 1913-17. He drew upon his wide reading to make the 
Government ridiculous. He compared its chiefs to "three 
women and one goose."^ "We drifted stern foremost into the 
war." "As yet we have not a single, big field gun at the front; 
we are short of rifles, of tents, of clothing, of everything." 
In a newspaper article he said that ^e were borrowing 
guns from France and England and had shipped 200,000 
coffins to Europe.' He forgot what he had said in May, 
and he lost sight of the fact that the President could not 
answer him by a plain statement of the facts, lest he, too, 
injure the country. Common men, moreover, did not know 
that the Allies had asked the Government to send men to use 
their supplies and thereby conserve the shipping necessary 
to feed both the allied armies and the civil populations so 

»"Foes of Our Own Household," 76. 

^Ibid., p. SO. All this and endless other such inconsistent and harmful statements will b« 
found in the same book from page 42 to the close. 
'Sworn testimony in the Bergei trial in Chicago. — The Tribunt, Dtegs^htt i7, IS18. 


sorely pressed. They thought that when a man like Roose- 
velt declared that nothing had been done, that no guns were 
put into the hands of American soldiers, and that even cloth- 
ing was not being provided, that their representatives in 
Washington were actually guilty of almost treasonable 

Unable to remain at home longer and content himself 
with such criticism as I have quoted, Roosevelt set out upon 
a tour of the country in furtherance of the political truce of 
the preceding spring. At Johnstown, Pennsylvania, on 
September 30th, he cried aloud that "we did not go to war to 
make democracy safe"; in Detroit he continued the attack; 
in Chicago there was no intimation that the President was 
worthy of the Nation's support; and in New York, on Octo- 
ber 5th, before an immense audience of the "best blood" of 
the city, he denounced the idea of an "easy peace" that the 
President might favour and he urged that Wilson was to be 
compared with the German rulers themselves.* The tour 
which occupied the month of September was one rallying 
campaign to all those who hated Wilson from ancient and 
conventional motives, to all who could not understand the 
note of himianity that ran through the President's speeches, 
and of course to those partisans who did not desire to be just. 

The conclusion to many members of Congress was that 
nothing less than a coalition cabinet, with Roosevelt as its 
chief, would meet the situation. _ It \<ras an extraordinary 
proposition, although the example of the breakdown of the 
Asquith ministry and' the substitution of a coalition of all 
parties during the preceding year undoubtedly gave example 
if not precedent for such a proposal. But the plan was not 
for a cabinet representative of Democrats, Republicans, and 
Labour leadersjitwas a plan primarily to put powerful Repub- 

'Th4 Ifattm tor October ««, 1917. j/ 


lican leaders into responsible positions for the period of the 
war. To understand the proposal one must assume that Mr. 
Bryan or some defeated predecessor of his had set up a claim, 
say during the Spanish War, for the headship of an extra con- 
stitutional cabinet, that he had then gone to Washington in 
person to lead the movement against McKinley while all the 
leading papers of the South coupled the names of Bryan and 
McKinley as the prospective joint authorities in the country. 
It is unthinkable that the Republicans or even the Democrats 
of the North would have coimtenanced any such movement 
in 1898. And yet the breakdown of the McKinley war or- 
ganization was almost complete. No historian looking on 
in the winter of 1918 could have a doubt as to what Wilson 
would do when the case was presented to him. 

The newspapers of the industrial districts prepared the 
way for the decisive move before Congress met. On Decem- 
ber 12th, Senator Chamberlain, Democrat and chairman of 
the Senate Committee on Military Affairs, proposed a drastic 
investigation of the War Department and its widely heralded 
"shortcomings." Mr. Chamberlain was the senator who 
had collaborated in the autumn of 1915 with Secretary Gar- 
rison on behalf of universal conscription and universal mili- 
tary service. The President, as we already know, refused to 
follow the lead of Chamberlain and Garrison and the latter re- 
signed and was proclaimed a.hero by the opposition. Senator 
Hitchcock of Nebraska, who had never been in accord with 
the Wilson Administration, joined Chamberlain. Senator 
Reed of Missouri was then, as he has been since, in bitter 
opposition. He attacked practically everything that was 
done at the White House. The investigation was quickly, 
almost joyously, voted.^ Secretary Baker testified before 

■The "American Yearbook" gives a good summaiy, pp. 3-S; The Literary Digest, Decem- 
ber S%. 1917, gives press comment. 


the committee of the Senate on January 10th and 11th. He 
was not free to tell what the agreement with the Allies about 
supplies and shipping was.but hedid makea remarkable show- 
ing for what had been done. His conclusion, which is strictly 
historical, was: "No army of similar size in the history of the 
world has ever been raised, equipped, or trained so quickly.^ 
He acknowledged that blunders had been made, that sick- 
ness in the camps had interfered with the work, and suffering 
and death had followed the hasty encampment of more than 
a million young men; but he insisted, and showed ample 
reason for insisting, that the operations of the Nation in its 
great undertaking were going forward admirably and that 
men must exercise patience in their zeal to break the power 
of Germany, else they would aid the enemy in their intem- 
perate haste to see everything and criticize everything. 

Of course the senators were not satisfied. The Republic- 
ans were not satisfied. The industrial section of the country 
could not be satisfied when none of their acknowledged 
spokesmen was in high executive office. It is a pity it is 
true; but it is true. Senator Chamberlain insisted that the 
Government had broken down, a_ strange statement from a 
leader of the Democratic party, such a statement as only 
some extraordinary state of mind can explain. But he was 
not content with a merely legislative attack. An elaborate 
plan was worked out to stage Chamberlain's opposition to the 
President. The papers reported that an eminent Philadel- 
phia manufacturer, JKern Dodge, was in Washington, between 
the ordering of the investigation and Christmasi urging 
Colonel Roosevelt for Minister of Munitions in a new war 
cabinet that Congress was to create.* It was claimed that 

'Mrs. Humphry Ward in "Fields of Victory,'* New York, 1919, in appendix shows that Eng- 
land never at any time had a million men in France. 
3 Washington dispatch to the New York Timest December 24tfa. 


Roosevelt would be the American Lloyd George. Newspaper 
comment was to the effect that Wilson welcomed Roosevelt. 
A front-page article in the Washington Post talked glibly of 
the new arrangement as though it were the most natural 
thing in the world for Congress to set up a second cabinet 
with powers superior to those of the established Cabinet and 
subordinate only to the President. 

The intense depression of the season and the dislike of 
business men for the idealism of the fourteen points, which 
they everywhere interpreted as possibly meaning a near ap- 
proach to world free trade, led to a quick formation of a plan 
.to unhorse Wilson. The investigations into the War De- 
partment, although they revealed certain cross-purposes and 
conflicting authority, showed a great work well advanced. 
The errors and confusion were used by the opposition, 
as such things have always been used, to support an ag- 
gressive attack and to make Colonel Roosevelt head of a war 
cabinet. On January 19th, a luncheon was arranged in New 
York in honour of Senator Chamberlain and Julius Kahn, 
Republican leader of the group in the House of Representatives 
which had long urged universal military service upon the 
country. Chamberlain, Democrat, and Kahn, Republican, 
gave the movement a bi-partisan appearance that was cal- 
culated to impress the country. At this luncheon Senator 
Chamberlain solemnly declared that "the military establish- 
ment of America has fallen down." It had fallen down 
"because of ineflaciency in every bureau and department of 
the Government of the United States." He then added that 
the Senate Military Committee was trying to do something, 
trying to set up a munitions chief who should really save 
the country and the world from disaster. It was a remark- 
able thing for a leading Democrat to do. What made it a 
definite challenge to the President was the plain fact that 


the conduct of the war was to be taken partially, if not largely, 
out of his hands. 

Moreover, nineteen hundred of the "very best" people 
of New York were present at the luncheon. Elihu Root 
presided. When Chamberlain sat down, Colonel Roosevelt 
jumped to his feet in dramatic fashion applauding with all 
his might and declaring his hearty approval.' Important 
newspapers like the New York Times, the Boston Transcript, 
the Providence Journal, and scores of others in the industrial 
districts, united in the declaration that the Government had 
failed, that Wilson's Cabinet was a farce. The New York 
Tribune said that the European governments agreed that 
the United States had failed.'' The Manufacturers' Record, 
of Baltimore, the bitterest opponent of Wilson from the 
start in 1913, was cited as a Southern industrial organ utterly 
hopeless of Wilson and Baker. 

It was all the logical and planned result of the campaign 
of opposition that had gone on since September. Whether 
Colonel Roosevelt would or not he must be the leader and the 
beneficiary of the campaign. If the Chamberlain scheme 
succeeded, a war cabinet would take over part of the duties 
of the presidency and there would be intense and bitter feel- 
ing in Washington with Roosevelt the inevitable co-tribune 
of Wilson. It was the first great gun of the congressional 
campaign of 1918, which in tiu'n would be the beginning of 
that of 1920. 

Senator Chamberlain retvu-ned to Washington to press his 
scheme for a war cabinet. Neither he nor any other of the 
leaders had consulted the President. It was, in fact, intended 

^The New York Times for January SO, 1918, gave a full account of the luncheon. All the 
papers in the country "carried" the story in fuU. Old men met on the streets of leading 
cities next day and said: "What about Chamberlain? Is he not a great patriot?" 

'Tke Literary Diieal, February 9, 1918. 


as an administrative revolution. On January 22nd, Wilson 
gave out a statement that Senator Chamberlain's New York 
speech was an astounding and absolutely unjustifiable dis- 
tortion of the truth. He added that he had not been con- 
sulted about the proposed war cabinet and that he must as- 
sume that Mr. Chamberlain was an out-and-out opponent 
of the Administration. But in spite of all, Roosevelt went to 
Washington on January 23rd, set up a miniature court at the 
home of his son-in-law, Representative Longworth, where 
he directed the fight upon the President and where Chamber- 
lain and scores of other members of Congress, besides admirals 
and diplomats, called to pay their respects or to plan the 
maneuvers so auspiciously set afoot.* For a time it looked 
as if Wilson would be unable to weather the storm. 

But he met the situation. Mr. Edward R. Stettinius of 
the house of J. P. Morgan, which had handled much of the 
munitions business for Great Britain since 1914, was called 
to Washington and asked to straighten out the cross purposes 
of the War Department and to become a sort of minister of 
munitions in the Wilson Administration. Stettinius readily 
accepted; and the part of the public which had no partisan 
interest to serve was satisfied. Mr. Baker was contented 
and none of the bureau chiefs resigned. 

When the general public came to realize what was afoot, 
a quick rallying to Wilson occurred. Of course every im- 
portant Southern paper supported him. The Springfield 
Republican, of Massachusetts, made staunch defence of 
the Administration and even the New York Times gradually 
changed its tone. But now, as on a hundred other occasions, 
the Western and Northwestern papers and public gave the 
decisive voice. William Allen White of the Emporia Gazette 

'The "American Yearbook" for 191S, p. 4, givea the best aummary of the moTement in 


said that the country had named the President in 1916 and the 
country must abide the decision, distasteful as that might be. 
"There is no use crying over spilt milk," he added, humor- 
ously. Most other Northwestern papers held the same tone. 
They would not have a war cabinet. Nor had they lost con- 
fidence in the President. 

It was now that Wilson made one of his quickest and most 
masterly moves. The Democrats in both houses had suffered 
themselves to be frightened or, at any rate, disorganized 
by the extraordinary attacks which I have just described. 
Many of them were sore about patronage, the price of wheat 
which WDson would not allow to be raised, or the difficulties 
of the War Department. And the world-wide depression 
lent gravity to the crisis. Democrats were giving increasing 
support to the Roosevelt plan for a war cabinet. The turn in 
public opinion in the Northwest and the increasing conviction 
that a new cabinet with Roosevelt at its head would make for 
conflict at home rather than increased strength abroad non- 
plussed them. Wilson suddenly sent in a bill asking for all 
the powers that were proposed for the new war cabinet and 
many more. He first asked the most reactionary Democrat 
in the Senate, Martin of Virginia, to introduce his bill. 
Martin refused, although he was the official leader of the 
body; he could not be a party to the granting of such dicta- 
torial powers as the President asked even though he had been 
the dictator of Virginia for twenty years. 

Senator Overman, a very cautious states rights man, 
but a real friend of the President, introduced the bill early 
in February, 1918. The idea of a new war ministry with 
what was called a "he-man" at its head was still uppermost 
in congressmen's minds. The one thing the investigation 
into the affairs of the War Department had shown was that 
the bureau chiefs and the red tape of peace-time affairs were 


responsible for most of the difficulties complained of. This 
Wilson had in part remedied by the appointment of Stettinius. 
His new bill would go still further. It would give the Presi- 
dent power to rearrange the bureaus and fix duties to suit 
himself. It would empower him to set up new machinery 
for war work which the President thought necessary. It 
would make Wilson as much of an autocrat as Lincoln had 
been at any time during the Civil War.^ 

Mr. Chamberlain was immediately relegated to the scrap 
heap by this proposal. Everybody began to discuss it. 
Men who had demanded more war powers for "he-man" 
work could not complain that the President asked even greater 
powers. The public liked the boldness of the move. Since 
Wilson asked for these extraordinary powers for the duration 
of the war only, business men who had wanted the war 
cabinet were contented. People generally desired action 
if it could be had. They were less particular about any 
particular man in action. Roosevelt, although he was never 
deserted by his followers, was now like Chamberlaia, without 
a grievance. The movement that had been aimed at a divi- 
sion of the powers and the duties of the President had failed. 
But Hoke Smith and Reed, of the judiciary committee of the 
Senate, persisted in their opposition to anything Wilson pro- 
posed. Sherman of Illinois was quite as bitter and spec- 
tacular in his attacks. But the issue was settled when 
Chamberlain and some of the Republicans, like Borah and 
Nelson, announced that they would vote for the new grant 
of powers. The irreconcilables continued obstructive tac- 
tics till April 29th when by a vote of 63 to 13 the bill was 
passed.* The House acted quickly and the issue was closed. 

•"The United States Statutes at Large," 65 Cong., Vol. 40, pt. 1, pp. S5S-7. 
'"The American Yearbook," 1918, gives account of the Senate discussions, pp. 5-0. Of course 
The Consretxional Record^ passim, givea details. 


Wilson was more powerful than ever and every day the events 
of the war added to his prestige. 

As already described, the legislation which gave the War 
and Navy departments immense sums, the military situation 
in the world, the control of the vast railway and shipping 
businesses of the United States, food control, the sedition 
act, and all the interests and powers devolving upon the 
presidency due to the fixing of unprecedented income taxes 
and the collection of the Liberty loans made Wilson the 
master of America. And the fact that the United States 
was the one great solvent and fresh power of the world just 
entering the war lent Wilson still other powers that no other 
man of any country ever exercised. 

What gave anxious thought to conservative men in the 
North after the failure of the plan for a war cabinet and a shar- 
ing of responsibility and leadership with the Republicans was 
the so-called internationalism of Wilson. People are inher- 
ently conservative. They love the old ways. If the war was 
to close with old institutions discredited it would be worse to 
conservatives like Lord Lansdowne in England or Senator 
Gallinger in the United States than a German victory, for 
after all the Junkers did protect property and keep people 
in their proper places. But Wilson had begun in 1913 with 
the statement that the people then resumed control of their 
affairs. He followed with an amazing programme of action 
that practically transformed the government, its tariff sys- 
tem, its banking arrangements, and most of all its methods 
of Federal taxation. Every industrial district and every 
financial group felt the change to be a blow. And when 
Wilson at last entered the great war, the great articulate 
elements of the country which had fought him from the be- 
ginning and which had always urged him into the struggle, 
found him declaring it a revolution, a people's war through- 


out the world against all groups and systems everywhere 
which sought to exploit men. 
./"^he fourteen points were already christened the fourteen 
commandments which all conservative interests must combat. 
He said to the Senate on February 11, 1918, that we fought 
for a "new international order" and without that new order 
at the end of the war the world would be without peace. 
And likewise disconcerting was the closing remark of the 
same address that the power of the United States "will never 
be used in aggression or for the aggrandizement of any selfish 
interest of our own."^ It was the language of the Mobile 
address and a self-denial which great numbers of people were 
unwilling to make and which many newspapers had de^- 
nounced when it was first made. 

In New York, where the President was given an imprece- 
dented ovation on May the 18th, the same semi-revolutionary 
thought seemed to pervade his appeal on behalf of the Red 
Cross. It will be remembered that in no other war had the 
Government gone directly to the people for its loans. The 
bankers had had a monopoly of the management and profits 
of war loans. Bankers were present to hear Wilson in great 
numbers on this occasion. He said: "You can not take 
much satisfaction in lending money to the Government, 
because the interest which you draw will burn your pockets. 
It is a commercial transaction; and some men have even 
dared to cavil at the rate of interest, not knowing the in- 
cidental commentary that that constitutes upon their at- 
titude." Now New York bankers were the very men who 
cavilled at the rate of interest. They were the men who had 
insisted most upon American entrance into the war; and they 
heard with poorly veiled anger this shrewdly dealt diagnosis 
of their own case. Nor was the compliment to the hard- 

1" Address of the President to Congress," February 11, 191S. 


working women of the Red Cross without its valuable reve- 
lation of Wilson's spirit: "It fills my imagination to think 
of the women all over this country who are busy to-night 
and are busy every night and every day, doing the work of the 
Red Cross, busy with a great eagerness to find out the most 
serviceable thing to do, busy with a forgetfulness of all the 
old frivolities of their social relationships." The old frivoli- 
ties! What had not the members of the Chevy Chase Club 
said about him for withholding himself from their frivolities? 
And what had fashionable Washington folk not said about a 
President who would have no contacts with their time- 
consuming and over-sophisticated set? 

In every address, notably at Mount Vernon on July 4, 
1918, Wilson renewed the ideas of the fourteen points and 
of the new international order. At New York on September 
27th, when he said his worst about Germany and her auto- 
cratic system, he recurred again and again to "a people's war," 
"sweeping processes of change," and the new interpretation 
to be put upon Washington's Farewell Address. He repeated 
the idea that business men still thought they were playing a 
"game of power and playing for high stakes." His closing 
paragraph was a warning to European statesmen to say in 
public whether they thought his interpretation of the war 
and its piurposes was in any sense wrong or contrary to 

Wilson talked like a free spirit, a man who would make 
the world over if it could be made over. And the daily 
unfolding powers of the coimtry were such that no European 
statesman could then dispute his purposes. He was in the 
heyday of his power. A master in Washington in spite of 
the known hostility of a majority of Congress because an 
American president must always be a master in time of war, 
he meant to make men think again about fundamental human 


rights. He would make capitalists know /the limitations 
of their power; he would compel labouring men, as in the ease 
of the Government arsenals in Connectici^, to realize their 
responsibilities to the country and to scjsiety everywhere. 
Yet Wilson knew that most great men of his own country 
were bitterly hostile. He said to a personal friend early in 
September, 1918, that a larger sum was being expended" to 
defeat his friends in the then pending congressional campaign 
than had been expended to defeat himself in 1916. Recent 
judicial proceedings show this to have been a correct judg- 
ment. He feared that European statesmen were still blindly 
opposed to an enlightened international policy; that members 
of Congress would not make themselves familiar with the 
great tasks they were elected to perform; that, after the end 
of the great struggle, men would fall again to quarrelling 
over the loaves and fishes. The faith of the people in him 
and in his interpretation of their desires, he said he knew with 
an instinct that he could not doubt. To some who saw him 
and talked freely with him in the month just before the first 
adverse election of his presidency and the armistice, he was 
humorous, apt with a telling story, frank in the discussion of 
great men and greater events. He received the news of the 
American victory at St. Mihiel with perfect satisfaction, as 
if he had expected it, but without that boisterous joy which has 
marked other leaders of opinion and observers of football 
games. It was a sad thing, the whole great war with its pos- 
sibly useless toll upon human life, useless unless men would 
make a different peace from that which they had ever made 

Such a man and such a leader could not but meet with 
the bitterest resistance. Six years he had been in power and 
what years they had been! It was not that men do not wish 
right and justice and even mercy to prevail in the world, or 


in the United States. They fear new thirigs. Representa- 
tives of old social forces like the Republican party could not 
contemplate a worse future than that which Wilson would 
inaugurate. Or, granting with Mr. Taft that they would 
do the same in office which they condemned out of office. 
Republicans could not approve a man whose whole conduct 
and line of policy pointed inevitably to a new political dy- 
nasty in the United States. It would have have been equiva- 
lent to political suicide for the opposition to approve Wilson; 
and great party groups do not commit suicide, however seri- 
ously individual leaders may take the current of events. 
There was nothing else but a party struggle for the autumn 
of 1918. And when Wilson was at the very height of his 
power both at home and abroad he must contend strenuously 
for a majority in Congress, even when he knew that the 
leaders of his party would count a Democratic victory as 
only a little better than a defeat, for it would add to the 
power of the President whom they feared and even hated*^'^ 
I have said that the failure of the movement for the war 
cabinet added to the President's prestige. It left a sting with 
those who had hoped to compel him to acquiesce in the form- 
ation of a coalition government and thus at last acknowledge 
that he and his party were incapable of conducting the 
affairs of the country. In the United States parties bear a ■ 
different relation to each other and to the country from that 
in other constitutional governments. The Republicans 
represent, as all must know, the older social and economic 
forces of the North. Its leaders are generally more expe- 
rienced in large affairs, and its voters are apt to be better edu- 
cated than the voters of the rival party. Republicans belong 
to the fashionable and exclusive clubs. Few Democrats 
are seen in such places. Republicans own the great blocks 
of industrial and railway stocks. They sit on the boards of 


the great banks. Such men and their supporters and con- 
nections can not conceive of a successful Federal administra- 
tion without their presence in the Cabinet. That was one of the 
reasons for the violent attacks of the autunm and winter of 
1917-18. Now, Wilson was about to prove that he and his 
colleagues could manage the greatest business any nation 
ever managed without official Republican aid. And for 
more than five years these very "unknown provincials" had 
actually succeeded and won four successive elections, if we 
count that of 1910. If the older social elements of the North - 
were ever to return to the helm, they must win the congres- 
sional election of 1918. That was, in fact, the logical con- 
clusion of the fight of January. 
\ The Democratic party, as I have made clear in these pages, 
is the party of the older social forces of the South, farmers 
and small townsmen in the main. They have a great tradi- 
tion behind them, a tradition that reaches back to the Declara- 
tion of Independence and to Thomas Jefferson, the founder 
of a political dynasty that continued in power for twenty- 
four years. The republic itself is the work of farmers and 
its ideals are farmer ideals. This gives the Democratic party 
a hold on life that seems to defy all opposition, even long 
periods of banishment from the places of powers But this 
party had not been in power since the election of Lincoln;' 
in reality, they had not been in power since the retirement of 
Andrew Jackson. Its leaders, often enough experienced in 
local affairs and sometimes conspicuous in Congress, are not 
accustomed to ministerial responsibility. They have shown 
a sort of deference to Republican leadership, as for example 
in tariff revision, that tended to increase the Republican 
complacency. But at the same time an ancient party, with a 

>I have never considered Cleveland's two terms as real Demoeratic supremacy. Cleveland, 
although democratic at the beginning, was never free to do any great work. 


vast section like the South behind it, can not confess to in- 
ability to govern. Their very provincialism confirms them in 
their self-confidence. Once in office, they could not for a 
moment agree, as the British Liberals did in 1916, that they 
were unequal to their tasks. Certainly Mr. Wilson would 
never admit or imply that he was not equal to his high func- 
tion. Nor are there any Republicans who now maintain 
any such contention. Conspicuous ability has been the out- 
standing feature of his career as President. That very com- 
manding ability and political astuteness were the main spurs 
to the opposition. Wilson was about to found a political 
dynasty. He must be defeated. 

Thus the two elements in the national life confronted each 
other as the elections of 1918 approached. The Republicans 
must carry aU their industrial states and a few Western 
states. The emergency led to the closest cooperation of all 
the factions of 1912. Roosevelt met Taft in a New York 
hotel and renewed their erstwhile friendship, or at least ap- 
peared to do so. Mr. Hughes, who had held the two wings 
of the party fairly together in 1916, contributed his share of 
the work. Hiram Johnson of CaUfomia, who had been ac- 
cused of "electing Wilson" in 1916 by his maneuvers in his 
state, did his utmost to be counted regular. The greater 
banking and industrial interests lent "oil for campaign pur- 
poses." Prom the Republican point of view it was only a 
genuine harmonizing that needed to be done. Enough Re- 
publican voters were certainly in the country, Republicans 
like Democrats, generally, being born not made. 

The President sought to strengthen his side in the conflict 
by attaching to himself Progressive and able leaders like 
Henry Hollis of New Hampshire, Bainbridge Colby of New 
York, Victor Murdock of Kansas, and Francis J. Heney of 
C«lifomia. These were all states in which there was a 


closely divided population as between the older Republican- 
ism and the newer democracy, which Wilson preached. And 
many Republicans in those states were open-eared Progres- 
sives before 1912. Other men of a more strictly political 
complexion the President undertook to make messengers 
of his faith — Governor Walsh of Massachusetts, with an 
intensely Irish support; Senator Lewis of Illinois, supported 
by the Dunne and opposed by the Stillivan forces; and Joseph 
Daviess of Wisconsin, a weak knight-errant of Democracy. 
Still another class of people in the North were influenced 
greatly by the close political friendship between Wilson and 
Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of 
Labour, and Henry Ford, the "erratic" manufacturer, of 
Michigan. Through all of these the President pressed his 
case in the industrial region. And the more men of the char- 
acter of Colby and Ford and Heney admired him, the more 
the souls of Southern Democrats like Senator Simmons and 
Senator Underwood were tried. But all held together just 
as the diverse elements of the Republicans held together; 
and the campaign was very bitter, despite the "adjournment 
of politics." 

I have remarked already in these pages that whoever 
attains high political leadership in the United States has a 
very complex and difficult task. A chance blunder or a silent 
unrecognized influence may play havoc with the plans of the 
best of men. The German Government, suddenly aware of 
the catastrophe that lay just ahead, changed its prime min- 
ister, assumed the garb of a parlour socialist, and called upon 
Wilson for an armistice upon the basis of the fourteen points! 
It was October 6th that the new Chancellor, Prince Maximil- 
ian, sent this offer. Of all the surprises that could have come 
at that time this must have been the greatest to Wilson. To 
have the Kaiser talk his fourteen points! The explanation 


waa that Germany knew she was beaten, and she thus recog- 
nized that Wilson, a sort of umpire in the great war till the 
winter of 1917, was the only hope of a tolerable peace from 
the Berlin point of view. Germany professed liberalism 
and democracy and asked for the benefits accorded to a new 
convert, wished a baptism from the great Democrat. 

Wilson replied two days later asking for evidence of true 
conversion. His note, which might have been a repetition 
of Grant's famous demand at Fort Don'elson, was true to his 
character and career. "Does the imperial Chancellor mean 
that the German Government accepts the fourteen points?" 
"Do the military men of Germany agree to withdraw all their 
armies from occupied territory?" And finally, "The Presi- 
dent wishes to know whether the Chancellor speaks for the 
old group who have conducted the war, or does he speak for 
the liberated peoples of Germany?" These were Wilson's 
queries. They were natm-al from him. They were not astute 
traps as some wise men said they were. He could not be- 
lieve his own ears and he wished to make sure, the more since 
any response at all would reveal the character of the new 
ministry in Berlin and at the same time show the people of 
Germany what the reality was. The queries of Wilson were- 
astute in that they were frank and simple. 

His queries were not unreasonable, the less so since he, 
like Lincoln, was not a man of passion and anger, but an in- 
tellectual who counted the value of his words and estimated 
the distant consequences as well as the immediate results of 
his moves. The country, however, was not Wilson, much as 
some men believed in him. Common men can not wage war 
and keep in good humour. They reply in kind. The Ger- 
mans were the Huns, not one of them should be permitted 
to escape the consequences of their cruel war. For a whole 
year the President and especially his lieutenants had neces- 


sarily stirred men to anger; officers in the training camps had 
taught young men to swear and work themselves into the 
necessary state of mind for driving their bayonets through 
wicked and vicious men, Germans, at the front. How else 
was war to be conducted? Did not the Germans do the same? 
This spirit had permeated the body of the people. It had 
not taken possession of Wilson, as it had of Lloyd George or 
Clemenceau. The people could not understand the Wilson 
tone. Easterners who had for years imagined that their 
houses were in imminent danger of German aircraft were 
beside themselves with rage. Southerners who always took 
Wilson as their spokesman, if not their prophet, were non- 
plussed. Why did he not say: "You d Huns, lay down 

your arms and take what's coming to you?" 

The exchange of notes' in early October thrust another and 
a disturbing influence into the sectional and social conflict al- 
ready being waged. And as the time for balloting ap- 
proached Wilson appealed directly to the people over his own 
name to "return a Democratic majority to both the Senate 
and House of Representatives," otherwise he would be em- 
barrassed as their spokesman both in domestic and foreign 
affairs.'' At once a bitter cry went up from all Republican 
groups that the presidency had been used unfairly against an 
honest opposition, observing the truce of the preceding win- 
ter. The Democrats, realizing that the President was im- 
mensely stronger than their party, made the utmost use of 
the appeal. Whether it produced any effect has been de- 
bated till the present moment. But one thing is clear from 
the discussion, namely, that the conflict and the motives to 
the bitterness of the campaign were sectional quite as much 
as partisan. 

'The notes and press comment in The Literary Digeatt October 19, 1918. 
'Tbe appeal and comment in The LUerairp Digest, November 16, 1918. 


The result was a victory for the Republicans, Both the 
Senate and the House would be organized when they next 
assembled, sometime after March 4, 1919, by the Republi- 
cans. There were no Progressives on the list of successful 
candidates. But the majority in the Senate was so close 
that the Republicans could control the body only by appeas- 
ing and conciliating the ofifended and persecuted La FoUette 
of Wisconsin. And La Follette was more of a German in 
political support than a Republican. In the House the 
majority was larger. Speaker Clark, who had never been 
inwardly a friend of Wilson, would be displaced by a speaker 
who would organize the body in the interest of the conserva- 
tive and industrial North. And, finally, in May, 1919, when 
Congress was called in special session. Speaker Gillette and 
every chairman of nearly every important committee in the 
House was found to represent the great industrial states of 
Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. It 
was a transfer from the leadership of the agricultural South 
to that of the industrial North. The change was sectional.^ 

But Wilson, having won a magnificent victory in January 
when the country seemed to be least satisfied with the con- 
duct of the war had now, on the eve of the great negotiations, 
when, above all, he needed a united country behind him, lost 
control. He must negotiate a peace, set up that new demo- 
cratic world of which he had written the sketch in the four- 
teen points, with the majority of his country out of sympathy 
with him, and Congress seeking cause for fault-finding, cause 
even for impeachment! It was a bitter cup that had been 
handed him; but it was not more bitter than other presidents 
have been compelled to drain. Jefferson was almost exactly 
in the same predicament the last year he was in oflBce. Jack- 
son felt the foundations slipping from under him before he 

'Statement of Nicholiu LoMgwsrth in Chicago Trilmne, March 6, 1919. 


turned over his baton of leadership to Van Buren in 1837. 
And a visitor to the House of Representatives the last year 
of Lincoln's life was introduced with loud and sarcastic 
words: "I introduce you to the only friend of the President 
in this house!" Must it ever be so? Truly, one may refuse 
to envy presidents. But how would Wilson succeed in the 
great adventure? What would that world peace be of which 
he had talked so nobly? That query must be answered in 
the next chapter. 


EVENTS moved fast in the autumn of 1918 and the 
whole world was in a state of tenSe excitement. Presi- 
dent Wilson was the one trusted leader of the liberal forces 
of mankind. On September 29th, tWo days after the bellige- 
rent speech in New York, the military authorities of France 
and Bulgaria concluded an armistice at Salonika. Five days 
later the Central Powers made their dramatic appeal for a 
peace based upon the fourteen points. On October 18th, the 
Emperor of Austria-Hungary ifisued a decree that "Austria 
must become, in conformity ''Vith the will of its people, a 
confederate state, in which each nationality shall form on the 
territory which it occupies its own local autonomy." 

This was an attempt to save the Hapsburg monarchy by 
an appeal to one of the fourteen points. It was true to the 
general philosophy of the Central Powers from the beginning 
that a responsible head of a government might cast adrift 
peoples whom it had agreed to aid. The fourteen points had 
been oflfered to the Central Powers nearly a year before in the 
hope that the bloody campaigns of that year might be 
avoided. They had not been accepted. They had been 
jeered at by Grermans and Austrians. Between January and 
October, 1918, President Wilson, as one of the many war 
measures, and in accordance with his general ideal of the 
self-determination of peoples, had recognized Professor 
Masaryk as the president of Czecho-Slovakia, with fairly 



definite boundaries. Moreover, Protestant America had re- 
garded the people of Czecho-SIovakia as unfortunate and 
oppressed fellow Christians since the Thirty Years' War.* 
He had also agreed to recognize the claims of the Jugo-Slavs 
of Austro-Hungary to independence. Although a great num- 
ber of Germans in the United States promptly indicated their 
sympathy with the Austrian plan, Wilson announced on 
October 19th that many events had transpired since January, 
that the United States would not regard the so-caUed auto- 
nomy of the subject peoples of Austro-Hungary then to be 
provided for as valid. The various peoples of that distracted 
region had already determined their own fortunes. 

On October 30th, Turkey made her submission. And on 
the same day the military authorities of Austro-Himgary 
offered to surrender to Italy. Five days later the Haps- 
burgs signed an armistice that left that former great mon- 
archy perfectly helpless before the inter-allied conference in 
Paris. There was nothing else but for the HohenzoUerns to 
submit, bitter as that alternative undoubtedly was. Men 
everywhere recalled the ominous threats to crush France in 
the early days of the terrible struggle, the millions of copies of 
"Hindenburg's March Upon London" that were sold over the 
whole world, and the claims of the Pan-Germans that they 
would have Russia, France, England, and the smaller powers 
all at their mercy. The Kaiser's speeches about his shin- 
ing sword, his understanding with God himself, and the 
warnings that all men must abandon the seas of the world 
till Germany could work her will upon Europe, could not 
be removed from the minds of men, as they never can be 
erased from the pages of history. It was a bitter pill. But 

>On Jills' 4. I9I8, (L mass meeting of Czecho-SIovaks in Independence Hall, Philadelphia, iuued 
a formal Declaration of Independence. President Wilson lent his support to this movement 
and finally announced American recognition of Czecho-SIovakia on September 2, 191Sv 


orthodox churchmen and simple country folk remember well 
the saying that "pride goeth before a fall," and that great 
arrogance but invites destiny to do its work. The Kaiser 
made his submission by hastily deserting his country on 
November 10th. On the next day the last great armistice was 
signed. The German empire which Bismarck had built upon 
"blood and iron," as he had been fond of boasting, lay in 
ruins. The whole race of German princes lay prone upon the 
ground.* Never was a more marvellous series of events; 
never did a group of nations more richly deserve their fate 
than did those powers which had associated with Germany in 
her long and terrific assault upon the rest of mankind. 

Any close observer of events of October and November, 
1918, can hardly have failed to notice that Wilson was 
taken by surprise. Germany had such a superb organi- 
zation; the German people were apparently so devoted to 
their HohenzoUern leadership; and they had won so many 
campaigns in which they had been expected to exhaust their 
power, that few Americans really believed their eyes and ears 
as one astounding piece of news followed another. The 
American army command had more than two million men in 
France and a million three hundred thousand at the front. 
American munition makers were just beginning to deliver 
their most terrible weapons of war, including immense quan- 
tities of the deadly mustard gas; great naval guns, moimted 
on specially made railway cars, were being prepared to meet 
the heaviest German guns; while the combined British and 
American war fleets were developing their extreme efficiency 
day by day. That Germany would suddenly throw up her 
hands and quit had not been expected anywhere. That was 
supposed to come in the summer of 1919. And by that time 

'The "American Yearbook," 1918, gives excellent summaries of all these events, pp. 110-Ul. 


Wilson expected to have his plans ready both for a cau- 
tious reconstruction at home and a fixed programme at the 
Peace Conference. He had always been forehanded. In 
November, 1918, the Central Powers were crushed like an 
egg-shell. The President for once in his life was unready; 
he fell back upon a political hand-to-mouth regimen.^ 

Europe now lay in ruins. Russia was torn by factions, 
led by men to whom hatred was a master motive, and broken 
by Germany into half a dozen helpless states. The peoples 
who had fought Germany so long were at the point of starva- 
tion, not excepting England once the richest of them all. 
From eight to ten million soldiers had been killed; more than 
that number of other men, women, and children had lost their 
lives as a result of the war. ThfiJInited-States^l^eof the great 
peoples^. tfegJwOTld remained rich and prosgereusT^ronger 
both in man power an3~in resources, than any likely com- 
bination of nations." At the head of tTie United States, as a 

position in aU the world,a man who could speakTn^oSesthat 
npMcouiyhush, and^o whom a.11 the oppressedpeoples every- 
where JiQQk&d_as tQ_ a, ^second Messiah.^ It was a terrible 
responsibility. How would Wilson meet the coming tests, 
greater tests than were ever put to any other leader of man- 

.IiJibe.BSQds»*>f"thi&»lJ.nited,S.tates-had been united that 
November day when Wilson actually began the new ordering 
of the modern world, great things must could have been ac- 
complished and indeed a new era inaugurated. The sudden 
turn of things would not have worked so much ill. But, 
the reader of these pages knows that the United States, was 

iThis seems evident in the President's address to Congress on December ftt 1918, 
3Ray Stannaid Baker, who was in Europe at the time as a reporter for the President, in li 
series of syndicated articles for the American newspapers, October-November, 1919. 


Jiot then, and had never before been, anythingjj^^ a unit.^ 
I wiirn^"Tehearse here the evidence of the sharp and grow- 
ing sectional hostihty, the distress of the best of Repubhcan 
men and women that Wilson should be President at that 
great moment, or the suppressed anger of hosts of Germans 
who could not forgive him for bringing down upon the heads 
of the German rulers the awful doom that came with the 
armistice. Every intelligent man who sees what goes on in 
our cities or hears what is said upon the market places of the 
country towns knows that the existence of these elements neg- 
atived the idea that we, as a people, could then function in 
world affairs as a unit. 

To make the situation more difficult, the recent election 
gave responsibility to a group of men in Congress who either 
from deep-set economic or bitter partisan reasons must op- 
pose the President, no matter whether he did well or ill. And 
the very nature of Wilson, as well as the effect of his writings 
upon government, stiffened his neck against the leaders of 
the new majority. Wilson believed in the principle of a re- 
sponsible ministry, such as that of Great Britain; but, al- 
though the election had gone against him, he could not re- 
sign. Indeed it may very well be doubted whether the 
Democrats would not have won a great victory if the Presi- 
dent's name had been on the ticket. The American system 
is not a flexible one. The people of the country, knowing 
that Wilson must represent them in the coming peace con- 
ference, for reasons most conflicting and confusing, deliber- 
ately weakened his hand. They set up a Congress which in 
the nature of things must be guided by men who were both 
political and personal enemies of the President. And before 
the election took place, as if to commit the coimtry to a 
foreign policy opposed to that of Wilson, Colonel Roosevelt 

■Except perhaps at certain emotional climaxes like that of April, 1917. 


and Senator Lodge made up and announced a Republican 
foreign programme in which Wilson's ideas were flaunted.' 
. The ,B.oose«aeltaLodge terms were fr ankly imperialistic. 
They reasserted the doctrine ofmigKt'andTiate'T^hielr the 
Germans had exhausted. 

But the opposition leaders were not content merely to 
resist the diplomacy of the President. They gave the peoples 
of the allied countries the opinion that the United States 
f avoure3££eirmorerutHess^^icies:ja|her than the milder and 
more humane views of Wilson. A poU of the press of the coun- 
try during the latter days of November, 1918, would reveal an 
unprecedented disposition to thwart the only man who could 
constitutionally speak for the country. Revenge, indemni- 
ties, and drastic economic repression were very common terms. 

AndjuSefaeiL^i^son decided to g o in p erson to Paris, there 
was a loud protest m Congress, although the question did 
not, of course, come to a vote. Newspapers like the New 
York iSwn insisted that the Presideiit did not represent 
.the ^Q]a5itry7"~Two of tEe'most eminent lawyers of the East 
gave out studied opinions that, if Wilson left the shores of the 
United States, he would ipso f dido cease to be the head of the 
nation.* An effort was made to get an order of court to de- 
clare the oflSce of president vacant, and it was publicly stated 
that the Vice-President must enter the White House. For 
weeks the front pages of the newspapers were almost daily 
occupied with stories of this sort. One paper insisted that 
ninety-five per cent, of the people viewed the President's trip 
to Europe with "misgiving and dislike." With Congress in 
an ugly frame of mind, the country recently committed to a 
return to Republican ideas, and the great body of conserva- 

^This is too well understood to require proof. But to those who may wish proof reference 
is made to the files of the Chicago Trihune^ December 19. 191S. 
^George W. Wickersham, former attorney-general, and ei-Senator George F. Edmunds. 


,we America fearful of those "ideals" which would not 
al^w Wilson to take something out of the common European 
d6l>&cle for the United States, the President certainly had 
reason to fear that he would not be able to press the 
coui!\try's cause successfully before the assembled diplomats 
of Eturope and the whole world.' 

Nor did the older social elements of Europe wish Wilson 
to appear at the conference. The effect of Wilson's fourteen 
points was certainly very great in Germany and in Austro- 
Himgary. Wil son c ^d^-a&.^uch to break the power of 
GeHBaji>R»barEES ~constj mt repeliEbn _^dF;;;;^Ms tcfeals as any 

militaEX.COTnaiSdSEJ2feate2SJ^^v--^^^*'^^ ^^^ ^^'^ enough 
so long as the war was actually waging. But"'w', 

the^haQd0a^Sgfyrd^f_£imieuirJix^i& to its-teharacteFj'SecIared 
jigainst them. Stephen Pinchon, the French Minister for 
Foreign Affairs, agreed with the London conservatives in the 
view that GBnnany-must-pay huge indemnities and that in- 
dividual Germans must hang by the hundred for obedience 
to Jthe ordersof an emgCToiu^Jfeady dethroned.' Mr. Lloyd 
George was preparing to wage a campaign for a return of a 
parliament friendly to him on the cry of "pay to the last 

_^It seems,that^no one stopped to estimate; what it would be 

. possible for ±he-6erman peopJelo pay in half a century. The 

sum of the damage which they had done, and seemed glad to 

do at the time, including the havoc wrought in Poland, 

Russia, Roumania, Servia, and Italy, as well as that done 

■Chicago Tribune^ December 2, 1918. This paper throughout the late autumn and winter 
continued to quote the London Morning Post, a bitterly anti-American paper with a reported 
circulation oi only 30,000, as the press of London. . It seldom if ever took note of what the 
London Daily Ntme or the Manchester Quardian said. In London and Paris the imperialistic 
press quoted the Chicago Tribune and other similar American papers as the "press of the 
United SUtes.'' 

^TkeXiteraTy Digest, November 16, 1918, gives brief quotations to that effect. 


on the western front and upon the sea, must have been greater 
than the sum of the wealth of Germany, Austria, and Hun- 
gary. If actual damages amounted to so much what must 
indemnities, levied after the Bismarckian ideal, have totalled? 
At the time a great demand was being made up in the United 
States, in England, and France for the last dollar, there 
was a vigorous and popular campaign in each of the coun- 
tries concerned against the purchase of any kind of goods 
from Germany.^ Men who are called wise agpeareitathjnk 
that one or two hundre3''irflffioi5r3ollajscould be collected 
from pe6pres"witli whom nobody was to trade, and living in 
regions that did not prdduee f dodSlTiffs suffic!enFToF^^r;^ra 
"coBsiiinption ! Men shruhk'^ffdHrthelSIetterBSch philosophy 
that a wfible people might be destroyed and the world not 
suffer, and yet they proposed terms of settlement which must 
either have destroyed Germany entirely or left her to nurse a 
grievance too great to be borne in peace.^ 

WikQa,-did»asJLSSJ2L,,Zii'''^ ™^^ ^^° urged such impos- 

cause he did not, likeLlcy3 lieSfgeT^fOfflriir'a campaign 
of pure demagoguery;' because Wilson refused to talk 
wildly and hoped to bring Germany penitent back into the 
family of civilized nations, he was attacked by men of the 
highest political and social standing in eve^"^dilntry. 
One cannot but think'of Colonel Roosevelt's language during 
the last months of his life; and thousands who have so long 
admired him must apologize or make explanations or allow 

^Manufatiufer*8 Record, t]uoted in The Literary Digest, NoTember 9» 1018. 

'Isaac F. Marcosson in New Yorlc Times, of December 5, 101S» and many other papers re- 
flected this view: "The allies do not want any feelings of altruism to prevail." See also New 
York Times, December IS, 1918. 

'This is a harsh term to apply to a man who did the world such a tremendous service as he 
rendered during the long war. But there seems to be no doubt that he knew that the promisei 
he made on his campaign of 1918 could not be fuIBllcd. 


Kim to be classed as something less than a statesman. „What 

made ^J}^22lLJ!^!ji' '^ Jiffimilt vg^gjjip fact tVint fiprman 

leaders and German papers constantly sgote of BQIsoq as 
the^ friend of the~C^^glT.Powerer*T^ Frankfurter Zeit- 
MnjT. the besfpaper in Germany, said: "Wilson will fight on 
our side for freedom of trade and freedom of navigation."' 
And the masses of the German people looked to him dur- 
ing the months of November and December as the one man 
in the world who might temper the hand of justice and 
certainly avert the sword of revenge. 

Hcco uld not announ ce his programme without weaken- 
ing himself and injuring the causelSe served. Jl'he, moment 
he'raaSetJKlj^mjrqses^eO'M^apeisr-mreiy in the world 

that must suffer^ would begiEto form combinations agains-t 
him.* TEils in spite of his widely heralded open diplomacy, 
his "open covenants openly arrived at," the bitterest op- 
position at home that any president had encountered since 
Andrew, Johnson and the declared distrust of leaders in all 
the allied countries, he set out upon his journey. 

The members of the mission which accompanied him were 
Colonel Edward M. House, Secretary Lansing, General 
Bliss of the army, and Henry White, an experienced Republi- 
can diplomat of the McKinley-Roosevelt period. When the 
list went to the Senate there was an outcry. Some .insisted 
thai_j^enators_should_have been appointed, as imd been the 
case when the treaty with Spain was drawn.' But iVilson 
lmetrtiia*4ie-was not limited either in the constitution or by 
precedent to any particular class or classes of persons. His 

'The LUtrary Disat, November 23, 1918. 

*New York Times, December 3rd. made a strong though friendly demand for an itemized 
statement of his aims. One of the bitter debates of the Senate on this subject occurred on De- 
cember 4th. It was reported in all the papers of the country the day the President sailed. 
^McKinley and the negotiations with Spain, 1898. will be found well described in C. S. Olcott's 
"Lire of WilBam McKinley," Boston, 1916, H, Ch. 88. 


contention then, as when he was a mere student of the opera- 
tions of the American Government, was that the president 
had full and absolute control of diplomatic affairs until a 
treaty was completed. Then the Senate's functions began. 
But he also knew well as a politician that a president often 
finds that his treaties are rejected for good or for no reasons 
whatever. If a great world treaty, such as must conclude 
the World War, were rejected by the Senate it would be a 
calamity. Why, then, did Wilson, in view of the recent 
election and in view of the importance of the occasion, not 
undertake to conciliate the Senate? 

That question can not be answered till many people now 
living pass away. But if one look about the country in 1918, 
there appear good rea^ra^ifnotji^jcigB.t. ones, for the line 

°f PSS^^^^^^S^^'^* "P°° *^^ eve of the-most 
important move^oj^s^or. any3lllKemsaA'33ein Jialf a cen- 
tury. InlCenrst plapfl.,-a-ff.rnii]7 f»f gpngtnrg, sUch aS Mc- 
Kinley appointed, m ust inevitably have fallen -™*" gmiiwlg 
and di sagree ments once they were m Paris, such quarrels as 
weakened and almost defeated the American mission which 
negotiated the treaty of Ghent in 1815. The Republicans 
of the Senate would have been impossible. The, appoint- 
mejit,QlJC>ggifl.gate,ga3iIdnot have been_bette£ia.the then 
state of party and sectional opinion. But ex-President Taft, 
who was known to be friendly to the President, or Mr. Hughes, 
M'ould have satisfied the opposition. There was a strong 
f eelffliaBCTEBiTSoQtioUjght :t£h^^^ There 

could hardly be any reason to doubt that Mr. Taft would 
have been a loyal and hard-working member of the mission. 
-¥glrMri-gEa£tj ;as needed at hom e. His appointment would 
have given rise to the feeling that the President wished to 
perpetuate the split between the Taft and the Roosevelt 

'Ante, v'. 261, explains wby close personal relations between Wilson and Root were impossible. 


wings of the Republicans. Nor can there be any doubt that 
Republicans would have pressed Mr. Taf t to stand firm for 
certain things which Wilson opposed and vice versa} Wil- 
son's old idea of undivided responsibility and the desire to 
hasten the negotiations rather than allow them to lag because 
of debates with his colleagues probably decided the appoint- 
ments. Nor was any real quarrel in order about the personnel 
of the mission. If the Democrats were equal to conducting 
the Government, then they were equal to conducting the 
negotiations. Lansing and House had worked conspicu- 
ously with the President through many crises, and there had 
not been serious complaint. Nobody made any opposition 
to General Bliss when he was first appointed to serve on the 
inter-allied conference. And as to Mr. White, the Republican 
party had held him in too high esteem in the great days that 
were gone for any cavil to be made in 1918. His ability, if 
not his representative character, was unquestioned. 

But there is another angle to the President's mission to 
Europe. In one of Wilson's earliest contributions to period- 
ical literature he said that there was growing up lq the coun- 
try a cult to which historians and economists were giving 
their allegiance,' a "cult of all the facts, the facts and nothing 
but the facts." It was the beginning of the German influence 
among American scholars. Wilson protested that if men 
ever did succeed in gathering all the facts they would not 
I know what to do with them. "^And more than once in his 
early public life and even when he was seeking the nomination 
for the presidency he openly declared his distrust of experts. 
He believed in mastering the salient features of a problem or 
a movement and then applying reason, common sense, and 

^The Boston Berald and the New York Globe, with most other prominent Republican and 
so-called independent papers made it perfectly plain that representative Republicans could not 
■upport his ideals; "Ma to those of the British Labour Party," said the Olob» in deriiioo. 

The iV«iJ Primetm Raiew, m. 188-M. 


a little of that understanding of human nature of which he 
has shown himself at times such a master, till he arrived at a 
judgment as to what should be done. He instinctively feared 
expfiids. In this he was the very opposite of l;hB- Germans- 
who worship the expert. And his reason is that so many ex- 
perts who pass for great iu their fields are themselves be- 
wildered, and they bewilder others, when put to the test of 

I think the President has allowed his earlier observations 
of his teachers and perhaps his colleagues on college faculties 
to influence his judgment too far. He found that he could 
not get on in the great reforms of his first years in office with- 
out the experts, although it must be confessed that some of 
them tried him sorely. But when he was about to sail for 
Paris he overcame all his scruples and toQk,feaJtfa_sJi^)Iea4 
of experjas. It became a subject of some fun-making and not 
a-littleridicule in Paris. There was an idle expert at every 
street comer in Paris ready to tell the President at any 
moment that the universe would collapse unless he made a 
certain specified decision within twenty-four hours.* 

However, it was not the President who brought these 
specialists together; it was the patient Colonel House who for 
more than a year endeavoured with might and main to 
collect from as many as two hundred scholars such of the 
greater facts in the world as in their expectation would be 
needed at Paris. These men, it must be recorded to their 
credit, were glad to give of their time and stores of tested 
knowledge to the Government without charge, in some 
cases not even receiving ref imd of travelling expenses nor even 
presenting bills for them. From October 1, 1917, till the 
sailing of the George Washington on December 4th for Paris 
every country in the world, its geography, economics, 

^Tfaere nre ever so many such men in Washington. 


boundaries, history, and ethnology, was studied, analyzed, 
reviewed, and charted for the benefit of the American com- 
missioners. There were diagrams of the coal fields, descrip- 
tions of the resources of the Shantung province of China, 
sketches of the racial mix-ups on all the borders of Russia, and 
lists of "good things" which it was expected that some far- 
seeing minister might covet. If ever a national delegation 
had all knowledge at its elbow, it was that of the United 
States in Paris. Nor did this work cost the Grovernment 
anything like market value, much as some unfriendly critics 
of Colonel House derided and found fault. 

That there were some inexperienced men, some unwise 
people who were trusted with important matters, and some 
experts more enthusiastic than learned does not invalidate 
the work as a whole. It only advertised it as honest and 
truly representative of the nation. Thus the President en- 
deavoured even against his prejudices to equip himself and 
his colleagues for their tasks. And on several occasions the 
information that was gathered and was always within reach 
served a most important purpose. Only the British com- 
missioners were equally well served. But British statesmen 
have for generations studied and really known, each for him- 
self, the world and its racial and economic bearings; and they 
were perhaps the masters of the Americans, after all, in this 
respect. Without the House commission they must have 
been very much the superiors of all their rivals and com- 
petitors, if rivals and competitors are fair terms for describ- 
ing Britons and Americans in Paris. 

Being the representative of rural America, of the older 
Protestant elements of the country as against the newer 
and modern industrial and urban groups, Wilson was 
the bul^* of attack and hostihty till the very day of his 
sailing. Some European leaders of liberal views could not 


understand how the opposition in the United States could 
justify itself in attacking the men t^o must represent them 
at a great international council board.' When the United 
States Chamber of Commerce met early in December, just 
as Wilson was leaving New York, the press dispatches from 
the gathering declared that business as there represented was 
sharpening its tomahawk for a conflict with the President. 
Resolutions were ofiPered asking for representation at Paris; 
the Webb Law, allowing American business men to combine 
against foreign business men in their export operations, must 
be amended and strengthened; a new protective tariff must 
be enacted to protect struggling American concerns against 
European competitors; the railroads must be returned to 
private ownership, and the vast American war-time shipping 
must be placed in private hands, duly subsidized from the 
public treasury. Only a bitter partisanship or a frenzied dis- 
trust of the President could have suggested such a programme 
at that critical time.^ Fashionable New York was disgusted 
and bitterly contemptuous of the President's entourage. 
There was hardly a well-known social "light" on the whole 
sailing list. Women of "the highest circles" tried to make 
fun of all the women about the President, as if that could 
affect results. 

Articulate-A[neiica..Ea§jesrtainJjLia_no mood for compli- 
ments that December morning when WiIson's~ship- lifted 
anchQX..^.Bu±-JiurtieMfefee--AHieMear^was 1:hCTe~To say him 
Godspeed. ' Grea1r-«P0wds--of- peopte" crowded~1;he- wha^s, 
Peking a glimpse of the man whom they somehow trusted 

^Mr. P. W. Wilson, a former member of the British House of Commons, a New York cor- 
respondent of the London Daily Nmos, expressed amazement at the attitude of New Yoric 
Citjr in the winter of 1918-19. 

*The newspapers of December 5-7, 1018, were filled with the doings of the convention. A 
quieter tone was introduced and pressed toward the end of the meeting, as shown by the offi- 
cial proceedings. 


and from whom they expected great things, too great things 
from mortal hands.^ The workingmen of the coimtry had 
come to admire Wilson, even if they had not been able to 
vote for him in 1916. The Radicals of New York showed 
an enthusiasm for him which did quite as much harm as 
good, for Hebrew and German Radicals do not command 
the support of that staid, practical democracy which has 
never quite lost its hold on the country. Women's organiza- 
tions, except that purely partisan group still burning the 
President in effigy in front of the White House, expressed 
their faith in him. The common man of the United States, 
in spite of the groanings of the conservative press, was con- 
tent to have Wilson go to Paris. He did not expect, as some 
great lawyers said they expected, to see any convulsion of 
either the political or the natural world the moment the 
George Washington passed beyond the territorial waters of the 
United States. 

And if the inarticulate folk of the United States looked 
upon Wilson as a great democrat set out upon a momentous 
mission, the mass of European peasantry, shopkeepers, and 
dgyjabmu'ers iooke3TorwiS3To"t^^ as men 

lookedJiSiediaexat-dHiegJatKsecond coming of CKiisEl A 
great friend, rich as all the richesoTthisworld coulH make one, 
kindly and sympathetic as only a great soul can be, and a 
fearless champion of the poor who had been "handed about 
from sovereignty to sovereignty for a thousand years," he 
was, even in the twenti«th century, a "saviour" of Europe, 
fearless of rulers, diplomats, and rough-shod generals. A 
brother of Greorges Clemenceau is reported to have said that 
no man since Jesus so filled the hopes of European mankind, 
and he added, after the excitement of Wilson's reception was 

^An experienced newspaper man who waa present has said that the editorial offices of the 
city were surprised at this and changed their tone at.the last moment. 


passed, that history would award the President the highest 
place in her pages since the time of the Galilean.^ 

In soberer phrase, Wilson did command more of the devo- 
tion of the masses of men in Europe than he did in his own 
country. They had been so sorely tried during four terrible 
years; they had been for so many centuries without a friend 
in high places, with the exception of Gladstone; and they had 
seen for so many generations the futility of wars that they 
could not fail to oflPer an almost sublime homage to the 
western President who journeyed to bloodstained Europe 
to redress the wrongs of nations and classes alike. The 
President had said that he was but a Scottish peasant. 
Eye witnesses whose word can not be doubted say that the 
expression of approval and even of enthusiasm was beyond 
all description. People from every district of France, soldiers 
from the field, women from 'every walk of life, and the 
grandees who had for a century contested at every step the 
progress of democracy in Europe united to pay Wilson hom- 
age.* Whether this meant that a plebiscite would have re- 
sulted in an acceptance of the fourteen points or whether it 
meant that Frenchmen took this means to influence Wilson 
to abandon his fourteen points, one can not say. What- 
ever may be said, France had not made such a demonstra- 
tion since the time of the first Napoleon. 

But the American press that had opposed him since 1913 
gave disparaging accounts of the reception in their news 
columns and made similar comments in their editorials. One 
of the chief of these dispensers of information said it was al- 
most a frost, that the French looked on in Paris with silent 

^This was reported by one of the newspaper correapondenta to a friend of the writer in 
Washington. It may or may not be absolutely correct, but it represents the thought of many 

*New York Timet, December IS, 1918. The Timt) had changed its attitude toward Wilson. 


indifference. It was "satisfactory from a national point of 
view, " but it was no real demonstration of enthusiasm. Nor 
did the event command a cross-page or even a top-page head- 
line, as almost any murder in the "red-light" district of its 
city always did.^ A little later Wilson went to England. 
There was the same outpouring of popular enthusiasm. 
Whether those in high station really wished this preacher of 
the doctrines of primitive Christianity to visit London or 
not, the most highly placed men in England joined the demon- 
stration. It is a fact now too well known all over the world 
that Wilson's visit to Paris, London, and Manchester, as well 
as the hurried trip through Italy from Turin to Rome and 
return, was one constant succession of unprecedented demon- 

Bernard Shaw, the cynic and reviler of men in general, for 
once avowed his admiration. He published a series of articles 
in the Hearst papers in which he made Wilson a Messiah for 
ancient and suffering Europe.'' The leaders of the British 
Labour party lent Wilson all the support they could com- 
mand. The Liberals were so proud of Wilson that they for- 
got Lloyd George. The Irish never tired of saying that he 
must grant them that independence which Irishmen had won 
for the Americans in the Revolution of 1776. The Germans, 
looking on from their terrible isolation, asked in their press if 
Wilson would not give them a chance to make a demonstra- 
tion. And both Irish and Germans in the United States gave 
evidence of the warmest approval. 

But the fire under the surface of political things broke out 
fiercely when Premier Clemenceau announced in the very 

>The Chicago Trihme, December IS, 1918. 

^The Hearst papers had been moderately friendly to the President since April, 1917. Thia 
was about the lost evidence of that war-made approval. In January, 1919, the old revilings 
were renewed. 


midst of Wilson's triumphs in England, on December 30th, 
that France stood for the old alliances and the old balance of 
power. Immediately the French Chamber of Deputies gave 
their approval to the premier in a vote 380 to 134. If Wil- 
son thought the fourteen points were accepted, he had only 
to read the daily comment of the American press handed 
him by a representative of the Creel bureau. The Boston 
Transcript said: "Perhaps European statesmen have learned 
what the majority in the United States think and, knowing a 
little of the powers of the Senate under the Constitution, they 
prefer to be in harmony with that majority than with a 
repudiated president." It argued that Senator Lodge was 
the true representative of American opinion. Wilson replied 
at Manchester in rather sharp phrases to the French min- 
ister. But he could not reply to the American press. He 
went on capitalizing popular opinion in Europe, accumulat- 
ing strength as best he could, and actually challenging the 
existing authorities in the allied countries till his Italian 
visit was concluded. It seemed that he might possibly win 
in the coming struggle, win what every one of the parties to 
the Peace Conference had already agreed to.^ 

Yet everyone who knew Wilson realized that he did not 
intend to set up a contest with the constituted authorities of 
the allied countries in any revolutionary sense. All his 
writings from early manhood ran counter to that. His four 
years of fa,r-reaching reforms in his oivn country showed his 
true character. He would not tear down hoary institutions, 
but stir men to wholesome renovations. Hia.p!Lirpose was to 
make great men stick to their comraiJtHients, made in the 
dstysTofcdistTeirandJtgpaBIe^saSteF. He warred-agains^^ 
temptations df^success, against -the misuse of powers whieh- 

^TJu Liierary DigeH* January 11. 1919, gives presa comment and the vote of the Trench 
deputiei. I have abbremttted somewhat the typical language of the Tranacri'pL 


overwlielmiiig success always makes so easy. But he was no 
revolutionary, even if kings did sit a little uneasy in London 
and Rome. He sat down to a royal feast at Windsor Castle. 
He was dined by Lloyd George in London and, when he 
appeared the second time in Paris, he returned Clemenceau's 
warm greeting with apparent sincerity. The statement 
about the old balance of power, the challenge of December 
30th, he would not discuss; not even the overwhelming vote of 
the Deputies seemed to disturb him, as the hostile demonstra- 
tions of the Republican majority in the United States ap- 
parently had not done. He said a little later: "It is not men 
that interest or disturb me primarily; it is ideas. Ideas live; 
men die." I can not understand his confidence and hope 
during the months of December and January of that mo- 
mentous winter. Is WUson one of those royal natures who 
believe that the gods work for them? Or was it a sort of 
fatalism that sustained him in the belief that events would 
compel men to accept his ideas? Leaders must have votes. 
Wilson seemed to think that reason and the lessons of his- 
tory would avail against votes, against powers already set 
up. At any rate, he was bringing to an end his long cam- 
paign of emotionalism by which he hoped to stimulate man- 
kind to the point of doing^ what all liberal-minded men"'' 
hoped for, what all conservative and timid men feared. 

I can not take the time to review the most remarkable of 
all his trips while in Europe, the journey to Rome. There 
the conditions were ripe for revolution. Great masses of 
men were within a few short days of actual starvation. The 
largess of the United States — if one may call loans on small 
prospect of repayment largesses — ^kept Italy going. Her 
industries, her food supply, and her very , transportation 

^An excellent interpretation of the situation will be found in the Contemporary Bmaw, Augiut 
IS19, by H. W. Harris. 


system depended upon the United States and Great Britain. 
There was every reason in the world for the Italians to make 
demonstrations. They made them. But the leaders of the 
different parties and even the high officials of the Govern- 
ment sought to restrain the public and endeavoured to keep 
popular emotion within official bounds.* At Milan the Presi- 
dent broke his own rules a little and let his feelings be known 
rather more than he had done elsewhere. He was almost 
persuaded to be a socialist. It seemed that the people 
almost worshipped him. Did the Italians even then expect 
to bend Wilson to their imperialistic demands on the Dal- 
matian coast, whereby they meant to close that coast against 
Jugo-Slavs, Hungarians, and Austrians alike? 

But Wilson's great task was about to begin. All these 
trips, the speeches he had made, and the hints to the rulers, 
and the reactionary forces that were gathering their strength 
for the encounter were but the climax to a campaign which 
he had begun with the declaration of war against Germany. 
The greatest things that mankind has ever done have been 
done through leaders who knew how to appeal to the emo- 
tions of men, to their higher natures as against their more 
selfish instincts. Wilson is a master in the art of stirring 
|the feelings of vast multitudes. He is perhaps not a great 
j'orator, but he is the most consummate master of con- 
I vincing statement known to American history, with the 
» possible exception of Abraham Lincoln. His statements 
'read like perfect demonstrations in mathematixs7:;7There is 
no appeal-froiBT them -but by. a, confession- of the mean^mcF' 
tives-^Lone^ nature. It-was his-^purpose-to-puiroiitT restate, 
and reiterate the same higher purposes of the better spirits 
of all nations until he had created enough moral enthusiasm 

iStatements of eye witnesses vho were in a position to know what maneuvers the Govern- 
ment made. 


to carry men up to the high altitude of a noble peace, a peace 
that all mankind would ever quote and repeat, as men quote 
and repeat the Declaration of Independence. That was his 
objective. Would he succeed? He had made a great campaign, 
he had drawn to himself most of the Liberals of the world; he 
had awakened the remote and inarticulate races of the earth; 
and he had made of the Democratic party an element of 
support, although its leaders were not consumed with any 
fires of self-immolation. The challenge of Clemenceau, the 
prince of European reactionaries, was proof of the sweeping 
momentum of the President's purposes. The heated anger 
of the Bourbon groups in the United States, increasing in 
temperature with every succeeding wave of enthusiasm that 
broke at the feet of the President, was still clearer proof. It 
was an anomalous, unprecedented situation, that in which 
Wilson found himself in Paris early in January, 1919. All 
the world looked on; even poor Germany, licking her wounds 
and making piteous cries for food, made a part of the spec- 
tacle. But the day of emotionalism, good as emotionalism 
may be, in history, had gone. Reason and selfishness must 
now have their day. How would the modern St. George 
maintain his fight in that tightening atmosphere? 


WHEN the conference met on January 15, 1919, in Paris, 
the new appliances of modern life — the cable, the wireless, and 
the ubiquitous daily press — allowed all mankind to sit by and 
listen. All mankind was supremely interested; all nations 
had felt the blows of the German militarists; and every 
European people was confronted with certain starvation 
if perchance the struggle were renewed or the grain fields of 
America failed. Some of the peoples, like those of Russia and 
Austria-Hungary, ill-trained, war-weary, and without hope 
for the future, had lost all control of themselves and added 
the menace of chaos to the fear of starvation. As I have said, 
the people of the United States alone were strong, well- 
nourished, and making money as no other people had ever 
made money, either in time of war or peace. 

In 1914, the foreign commerce of the United States 
amounted to $3,900,000,000. In 1918, it amounted to 
$9,200,000,000. The balance of trade in favour of the Ameri- 
cans in the former year had been $324,000,000; in the latter it 
was $3,000,000,000. In 1914, the citizens and corporations 
of the United States owed the citizens and corporations of 
foreign countries about $4,000,000,000; in 1918, all this pri- 
vate debt had been paid and doubtless a greater one against 
Europe had been contracted. But the governments of Europe 
owed that of the United States nearly $9,000,000,000. It 
has, since December, 1918, been increased to $10,000,000,000! 



Was there ever anything like it before? In the Far East 
American business men were becoming the masters. In 
South America, the trade of the United States was more than 
three times as great as it had been before the war. Into 
Mexico, in spite of all the newspaper talk of enmity and war- 
fare, three times as great a volume of American goods entered 
as ever before. 

Nor was this prosperity all. The domestic trade of Ameri- • 
can business men, which in 1914 had totalled $30,000,000,000 
annually, in 1918 amounted to $68,300,000,000. The grain 
and cotton crops of the United States in 1914 were -worth 
about $5,000,000,000; in 1918, they amoimted to the huge sum 
of $12,000,000,000.1 jn t^jg United States, while thirty billions 
had been spent in the effort to save the world from German 
domination, every man who had a share in the direction of 
what are called the producing and trading classes was making 
money. Besides, labour received wages unprecedented and 
silent capital earned returns that were amazing. Only the 
salaried folk — the teachers of men's children, clerks in small 
businesses and country banks, and the officials of governments, 
national, state, and city — ^had not felt the new prosperity, were 
in fact compelled to wear patched clothes and walk while all 
the rest of the world drove past them in limousines or Fords. 
' This prosperous America Wilson represented at Paris. And 
this prosperous America had, as we know, gotten away from 
him in the November elections. Besides, he was at the end 
of a long term of office and naturally weaker in political re- 
sources than he had been since the day he first entered the 
White House. The armistice released Republicans from any, 
even imaginary, political truce. It released Democrats from 
that unwilling support that a party gives to a president whom 
its chiefs do not Uke. All presidents steadily lose in power 

•The New York TtmM economic aurvejr, January 5, IPIS. 


as their second term draws to a close. It is but human 
nature. Politicians, like lords and nobles, face the rising, 
not the declining, sun. Only there was no rising sun in the 
Democratic party in 1918-19. Moreover, that rich and 
roistering America of 1912 had had enough of reforms, or re- 
straints of business, of endless preachments about unselfish 
ideals and worlds made safe for democracy. A much richer 
America was now breaking those social leading strings which 
/Wilson had managed to fasten about it. 

Although Wilson was the foremost statesman of the world, 
although every important spokesman of the greater allied 
powers had agreed that his programme should be their 
programme at the peace table, he was the weakest man in 
Paris, except as the champion of inarticulate mankind and as 
the monitor of men's consciences. Wilson's party in Wash- 
ington followed him unwillingly; the opposing party was 
literally panting to rend him asunder; and the great agencies 
of publicity were now beyond his control.' The wealth of 
America, the foodstuffs and the credits to buy clothing, were 
nominally at his command. He might ask Congress to vote 
billions to aid stricken Europe; he might call upon generous 
people to give to the Red Cross; and he might threaten a re- 
fusal of coal and oil so needful for European industry. 
Therein lay what real power he had. His great name and his 
moral leadership were about all else that he had. This he 
knew, if he did not avow. A selfish statesman would have 
remained in Washington during thewinter of 1919 and mended 
his "broken fences," leaving the peace of the world to be 
mended by those who had broken it. 

On the other hand, Georges Clemenceau, his greatest op- 
ponent in the absence of a German delegation, had been in 
oflSce only a year. He had saved France from the very jaws 

>1 am not unaware of the seizure of the cable&in the preceding November. 


of death. He represented in his own person all the romance 
of the long struggle of France against despotic Germany 
since the terrible Franco-German Treaty of 1871. He had 
signed the beautiful and tragic protest of France against the 
rape of Alsace-Lorraine. He had fought alongside the great 
Gambetta; he had resisted, as prime minister, the encroach- 
ments of Germany in the touchy Morocco days; and he had 
edited for years his famous journal, L'homme libre, the Free 
Man; and when that was subjected to the censorship, he 
changed the name to L'homme enchain^, the Man in Chains. 
He had been a sort of "Prometheus Bound" in France till 
the great crisis of the war of 1917-18 called him to high 
oflSce. He it was who had never said peace, had never 
breathed a thought of discouragement, who had ever said, 
"war, war, war to the last man."' 

From the day Clemenceau entered office, against the 
wishes of the President of France, against the outcries of 
the moderate press and all the socialists, his career had been 
one unprecedented success, a series of triumphs. He went 
almost daily to the front during the darkest days of 1918; 
he held men firmly to their tasks; he united France; he put 
into prison the famous statesman and world financier, Joseph 
Caillaux; he banished the former cabinet member, Malvy ; and 
he put to death the notorious German spy, Bolo Pasha.' 
Most important of all, in May, 1918, when the German guns 
were thundering at the very gates of Amiens and a strike of 
400,000 munitions and other workers in and about Paris 
threatened the very existence of France, it was Clemenceau 
who persuaded the workers to go back to their tasks and main- 

■The best and most recent biography of Georges Clemenceau in English is that by H. M. 
Hyndman, New York, 1919. 

'The Springfield JZtfpudltcan, October 30. 1919. gives agood brief account of these proiecu* 


tained an undaunted front. Pew were permitted to know of 
the gravity of the situation; those who did know believed 
the "Tiger" had saved the allied cause.* Thus, when the ar- 
mistice was signed, no general of France took precedence 
over the premier. The French senate, in which there were 
life-long enemies, and the Deputies, where the socialist 
bloc had, even when his cause was the country's cause, never 
lent him a vote, gave him an ovation upon the annoimcement 
of victory such as no other French statesman had received 
since those inexplicable demonstrations that had been show- 
ered upon the worthless third Napoleon. He broke under 
the excitement and shed tears like a boy. He reminded men 
in his old age of Gambetta in the prime of manhood. Fifty 
years he had fought, but never prayed for the day he then 
saw. It was dramatic; it was French; and Clemenceau was 
French in every fibre. 

Cynical, witty, informed upon every subject that a states- 
juan should know, experienced in the great, cruel world, dis- 
illusioned of his early faith in socialism, doubtful of men's 
motives, faithful to facts and only facts, Georges Clemenceau 
was a second Bismarck, standing where the first Bismarck 
stood in 1871, only on the French side of the arena. True to 
himself, at the very climax of Wilson's reception in England, 
he went before the French Deputies and asked a vote of con- 
fidence in favour of the old diplomacy, the old balance of 
power and sharp political bargaining. He swore eternal 
enmity to everything German; he vowed anew that France 
should have her reparation, that no illusions of a better world 
order, no league of nations should swerve him an inch from 
his course. Armaments, legions, military training, an- 
nexations, and indemnities were his weapons. It was again 
"blood and iron." Truly Bismarck was not dead. 

iSee a reinarkEtble article in the Sunty for May 10, 1918. 


A^d France stood in sore need' 6f all that he asked. Her 
total weaTth at the IbegiBiImg of the great war was hardly 
$50,000,000,000. Her industries were greatly diversified, 
agriculture being the most important. Her mines and her 
industries lay mainly in the region bordering on Germany and 
Belgium, Paris and Lyons being the principal exceptions. 
Now that the war was over, agriculture was half ruined; the 
great foreign wine trade was almost destroyed — ^in part by the 
war, in part by the changing habits of Americans; coal mines 
had been ruined by invading armies; and the machinery of the 
industrial belt had been either destroyed by the Germans 
or carried beyond the Rhine to strengthen the hands of their 
enemies. A great stretch of the country was a barren waste. 
Economists estimated that France had suflFered a loss of 
$40,000,000,000. Of course this estimate was in the money 
of 1919. The debt of France was hardly less than 
$25,000,000,000. Annual expenditures were $2,000,000,000. 
The people were unwilling or unable to pay a seventh part 
of the annual burden in taxes, and imports exceeded exports 
by $2,000,000,000 a year! Moreover, the French people 
were about to lose the loan of $7,500,000,000 they had made 
to Russia before the great war! The whole business of the 
coimtry was upon a paper basis; and France owed the United 
States $2,500,000,000, the very continuance of her food and 
fuel supplies depending upon the United States and England.' 

Discouraging as this state of things was, Clemenceau stood 
out boldly for his country. He knew that matters had been 
infinitely worse more than once before in French history, 
while now at last the "hereditary enemy" lay prostrate be- 
fore him and Alsace-Lorraine was ready for the taking. Nor 
was there doubt in his mind that the French border should be 

^The "American Yearbook," 1918, pp. Ifil. 382; an excellent if distressing article on the 
economic state of Kurope will be found in tlie Contemporary Bmievj, September. 1919. 


moved to the Rhine from Strasbourg to Cologne. The dream 
of a thousand years should be realized. The champion of anti- 
clericalism, of republicanism as against socialism, of nation- 
alism of the Joan of Arc type, France was his god and pa- 
triotism his creed. He was the greatest pagan of his country 
and his time; and he looked upon the Germans quite as the 
good Emperor Hadrian had looked upon their ancestors 
eighteen hundred years before, as crafty barbarians. ^Chus 
Wilson's on e great opponent, a ntithesis eve n, was the m an 
XJEtoJiajissyedJ^ajjce, the Frenichman who was daily grow- 
ing in strength and prestige with his countrymen, mounting 
to a place in the affections of Frenchmen not unlike that of 
Napoleon I. Clemenceau, the realist, trained in the lan- 
guages of Europe, in the harsh and cruel philosophy of the 
continent, without mercy for his enemies and without respect 
for English-American liberalism, would meet the President 
and endeavour to vanquish him.' , 

As between Wilson with his country officially against him, 
and Clemenceau with his star still rising, Lloyd George of 
England would be the umpire, although I am not unaware 
of the importance of Italy and Japan. But critical and im- 
portant as were the demands of these two powers, they and 
their cases were but pawns for the French premier. France, 
Italy, and Japan were all in the same class; they represented 
the old diplomacy, the old cruel Machtpolitik of Bismarck. 
Lloyd George was perforce the umpire. And Lloyd George 
was and is a strange combination of liberalism and reaction, 
as deft as Talleyrand and as ready as Cavour. He had 
beaten every rival off his trail, had been on every side of every 
great problem of the last decade of English political history, 
had broken down the old-fashioned, frock-coated, easy- 

>TIiis picture is, I tliinli, a just one, in spite oE the fact that he and President Wilson seem to 
be good personal friends. 


going liberalism of Sir Herbert Asquith and, just as the 
terms of the armistice began to sink satisfactorily into the 
minds of every-day Britishers, he called an election for De- 
cember 14th. He made a campaign that compelled thesupport 
of all the less alert and the unthinking masses as well as that 
of the old gentry and. aristocracy. There was to be no quarter 
for the "Kaiser and. his minions," the last pennyof damag es 
wasto^e,fixafited and the allies of Britain were liEewiseTtb 
have their way upon the defeated Central Powers. He was 
not so coldiblooded as Clemenceau, nor so ruthless in declar- 
ing his piu-poses as Bismarck had been half a century before. 
But he called into play all the hatred of which Englishmen 
were capable and won a victory which gave him an over- 
whelming support in the House of Commons, Asquith 
himself was beaten; Arthur Henderson was left at home, 
while Sir Edward Carson, the knight-errant of Ulster, and 
Bonar Law, the chief of the Unionist party, were placed be- 
side him as the spokesmen of Britain. , Out of sixteen woman 
candidates for seats in the House of Commons only onoj an 
Irishwoman, was elected. It was one great shout of victory 
and of conservatism that went out to the world from this 
unprecedented election. It was in spirit and result a simi- 
lar election to that which had occurred in the United States a 
little more than a month before, only Lloyd George was the 
beneficiary of the British campaign while Wilson had been 
the loser in the American campaign. 

But England's affairs were not in so promising a condi- 
tion as these appearances might lead one to think. The na- 
tional debt was $50,000,000,000 and the annual budget was 
nearly $12,000,000,000. Taxation was yielding, however, 
nearly $5,000,000,000 a year. England was borrowing 
$2,500,000,000 a year from the United States and already 
owed the United States $4,000,000,000. The European 


allies, however, had borrowed from England about 
$8,000,000,000.^ These are unprecedented transactions. 
They show that Britain and America held the purse-strings 
nofi^ejs^rld. Bwt-« H :Lt; t wi ry(nr (^|^ifajn;g3mtlook.was 
far worse tBlirtiiai%-e£-he£jEest«rir^Qciate. When the war 
began every g^eat^E5QaBcial^faniaction was engineered from 
London or the conditions on which it was conducted were 
fixed in London. It had been so for two centuries. It was 
to be so no longer. New York was jiow the money market, 
the financial dictator. Nor was British trade likely to re- 
coup its losses in a hundred years. It could never again 
be what it had been. Germany had set out to destroy France 
and usurp the economic leadership of Great Britain, The 
result was that France stood in bad stead in January, 1919, 
but likely to recoup somewhat from Germany, while England 
had lost her economic leadership to the United States. 

English thinkers of the silent commercial sort and British 
noblemen of the class of Lord Lansdowne could not look 
upon this state of things with the least degree of allowance; 
and Lloyd George was apt to feel the weight of their influence 
when he went to Paris. But another element had entered 
into the British situation. British labourers were more 
powerful than any other labour group in the world. They 
had the best and sanest leadership. They had published to 
the world a social and economic programme which the Presi- 
dent said was almost as good as his fourteen points. British 
labour, as an organization, had been sadly beaten in the 
election yet British labouring men held the fortunes of Eng- 
land quite as much in their hands as did Lloyd George him- 
self. The coal miners, the railway men, and the longshore- 
men had entered into a combination which was called the 
triple alliance. They meant to compel a readjustment of the 

>"The American Yearbook," 1918, pp. 141-42, S8«. 


relations of Labour and Capital, even during the sessions 
of the Peace Conference, in such a way that a measure of 
democracy in industry should be secured. Moreover, British 
labour agitators were not in the habit of throwing bombs 
into helpless crowds or pronouncing the most arbitrary dicta 
of social upheaval, after the manner of the Russian proletariat 
or certain elements of American labour. British labour 
was apt to affect results, even when it was"nQf^strQng- in 
Parliam^brSJSd iiritishrlaboui^4iad-MfrjP^lsonjFQ,r.aii ally 

"because.of its sanity. — — - 

Thus the three really great figures sat down to the peace 
table in Paris on January 15, 1919. At the very first one of 
the fourteen points came up for decision. Qggn covenants 
openlji;_arriyed__atwas a great principle that couI3~iiotrbe 

lived up to, much as its acceptance would have aided Wilson 
and his cause. At the very moment the decision was to be 
made, every one of the greater, parties to the coming negotia- 
tions was involved in secret diplomacy. The President, if 
he grasped the world situation ^s he certainly did grasp it, 
knew that the Japanese would be thrown into a turmoil 
if his purposes in regard to China were made known. Lloyd 
George was already contemplating a wise and revolutionary 
movement looking toward a pacification of Russia that could 
not be revealed to British newspapers aforetime without de- 
feating the very object aimed at. Every other chief at the table 
was in similar plight in half a dozen matters and committed 
in some things to programmes that could not bear the light 
of publicity. Suppose Wilson, for example, had announced 
his suspected opposition to the growing Italian imperialism! 
Again, if open covenants openly arrived at were made the 
rule, the hundreds of British and American newspaper cor- 
respondents, after the manner of British and American news- 
paper management, would get "scoops" on the news, for 


Italy did not have the wires or even the paper for the trans- 
mission and publication of the news. Japanese newspapers 
could not afford to pay the cost of transmitting the proceed- 
ings of the conference half around the world. Australia 
was in like plight. Open discussions, therefore, meant an 
American-British monopoly of the news. But that was not 
the worst of it. The greater papers of the United States were 
opposed to Wilson's mission altogether, opposed to the four- 
teen points and in sympathy with the social philosophy and 
purposes of Premier Clemenceau rather than those of the 
president of their own country. If every suggestion, every 
remark of every member of the conference were to be made 
in public, as speeches are made in the Parliament of Great 
Britain, the members simply would not have talked and the 
conference would have resolved itself into Quaker conclave. 
The approaches, the suggestions, and the vital understandings 
of the delegations would have been made in some other way. 

Much as open sessions must have advanced the cause of 
democracy, it was hardly possible that Lloyd George, Cle- 
menceau, and Orlando, leading parties to a score of secret 
treaties or understandings in the different crises of the 
war, should then agree to open covenants. The majority 
decided, almost without discussion, against the first of the 
Wilson principles. The President might have defeated the 
decision if he had refused to abide by it. That might have 
been permissible journalism, now and then, in the United 
States. It would have been poor statesmanship at Paris. 
But' the Presi3^t's~prestige„suffered greatly in -the-partial 
abandonment of-^e^prineiple of puMicityT'' 

A second item in Wilson's programme of world readjust- 
ment was already 'determined against him, the problem of the 
Jreedom of the seas. That had been a doubtful matter from 
the iSrsl^ Great Britain is a scattered empire of Britishers, 


loosely bound together by a sort of racial sympathy. The 
only substantial connecting force is the great navy and its 
consort, the British merchant marine, Since the days of 
Nelson, this navy had patrolled the seas of the world and 
kept the highways of commerce open, especially for the bene- 
fit of England and her system, but also for the rest of the 
world. Germany never at any moment of her great struggle 
denied that the oceans were open to her in time of peace. 
And since such an empire as the British must ever favour a 
policy of partial or absolute free trade, the trade of Germany 
with British colonies had been quite as free as between 
Germany and her own outlying dominions. These are vital 
facts in the case which Wilson could not overlook. 

It was, however, the century-old Jeffersonian principle 
of free trade Ln time of war that Wilson's second point con- 
templated.^ Free ships make free goods had been the old 
slogan. It had been aimed against the British marine autoc- 
racy of the Napoleonic wars. Prussia had favoured it. 
Russia had favoured it. France, of course, favoured it after 
Trafalgar.'' But the United States changed her attitude 
during the Civil War and as a result came near to a war 
with England in 1862. In the Spanish War freedom of the 
seas was a minor issue. But in both the Civil War and the 
War of 1898 the principle, if not the fact, of an actual 
blockade mitigated the American violation of the principle. 

Wilsgnlgjdea in 1918 was to revive firgaJradg upon all the^ 
seasand to secureTiniversaljiieace^H-whicE'navies wouldlap- 
Idlyjjecomeubsolete. That was what Jefferson, whom Wilson 
would never regard as a godfather to his political children, 

^In spiritt if not in actual phrasing, nearly everything Wilson advocated during the great 
war was preached and urged by the American Bevolutioniats of 1776 and by Jefferson during 
his presidency. 

'Louis Martin Sears in American Poliiical Scimco BencWt August, 1919, gives an excellent 
account of Jefferson's ideals in this great matter. 


always contended.^ If the league of nations were set up there 
would be no difficulty. But Englishmen, so near the fighting 
front and so frequently threatened with invasion from the 
continent, could not believe in the efficacy of any remedy but 
that which had been applied successfully against Napoleon 
and William II. And before they would agree to the armis- 
tice of November 11th, tTiej'^ ''oj^mpT led the Presiden t to aban- 
dnn or rPiJTi^iErpr^t thf "trppAam nf tlip^gfa " The interpre- 
tation was a yielding of the point. It wasf made a pa rLof the 
armistice and there was nothing further to doa^Qut'it. But 
lest Witetin-tmd-his-stipporlefs mTBeTTnited States should 
endeavour to reopen that discussion at Paris, Lloyd George 
and practically every other responsible British statesman 
made it clear during the days preceding the assembling of the 
Peace Conference that England would never ^ieldLthejoint. 
It was too much for we^-Euman nature, esptecially British 
nature. In this the EnglishJjfiha;ved-Ht-q«ite_the.same spirit 
disarmaBaeilLPjQ:.the GermanJrontier. All of which showed 
that the President alone Ivad any xeal faith in a league of 
,nati6iis.^ "~ " " 

Another problem of equally vital importance, from the 
Wilson point of view, came to discussion quickly. Before 
anything could be taken up for definite settlement some com- 
mon attitude toward Russia must be taken., It was the 
"acid test" and more important than the question of open 
diplomacy. The Spartacans were making headway in Ger- 
many. Lenine had a firm grip upon Russia. Other Euro- 
pean peoples might fall under the new social "illusion." Nei- 
ther reparations nor indemnities would avail if Germany and 

^I know Jefferson sometimes weakened in iiis pacifism. But any understanding of his life 
sustains the view of the text. Henry Adams, "History of the United States," 1, 146, et teq, 
•William Allen White in The SaUrday Esming Poit, August 16, I91S. 


Austro-Hungary became another Russia. But should Len- 
ine's spokesmen be seated at Paris? Or should the confer- 
ence endeavour to find a way to give the masses of the Rus- 
sian people a chance? Lloyd George,"^ doubtless with 
Wilson's approval, gave it out that the Bolshevist Govern- 
ment might be recognized and its representatives might 
perhaps be accepted.* Wilson certainly tended in the same 
direction and Colonel House was of the same opinion. That 
would have meant first that the Lenine government would 
at once become less eruptive and gradually settle down to the 
ways of peace and conservatism, as all radical governments 
have done in the past when they became "legitimate." 

Besides, the Russian world would have become a more 
or less close collaborator of British and American statesmen 
in Paris. British and American economic and financial 
leaders would have begun at once to set the detracted and 
undeveloped country to rights. Russia would have become 
another economic bonanza as the Rocky Mountain region 
was to the North after the American Civil War. Wilson, 
Lloyd George, and Lenine, strange as this comment may seem 
to some, would have rearranged the world and written the 
terms of the peace. It was a great dream that came near to 
realization.' But Clemenceau defeated it. British con- 
servatism reacted in feverish opposition and Lloyd George 
has not yet been willing to confess his far-seeing purpose of 
January, 1919. American conservatism could not for a mo- 
ment rise to such statecraft and Wilson has never intimated 
whether he was, in fact, in sympathy with the Lloyd George 

^New York TzTtusoi January 13, 1919, contains a rather bitter protest against Lloyd George's 

'The Literary Digest gives American press comment in issues of January 11, 18, and 25, 1919. 

'W. C. Bullitt's story reviewed in The Literary Digest, September il, 1919, and exploited by 
the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations early in September only indicated the directions 
of the political wind in January, 1919. 


proposal. To have recognized Lenine in 1919 would have 
been a similar stroke to that of the English of 1815 when they 
made a quiet alliance with Talleyrand at Vienna in order to 
combat the grasping realism of Mettemich and his Russian 
and Prussian allies. 

But, as I have said, Clemenceau defeated the purpose. 
He did so with the support of men like Lansdowne of Eng- 
land and the Republican leaders of the United States Senate. 
Tlie outcome was the ^SQlson-pttipnsal .Qf-^gPripkipo con- 
ference"to whiulrtEe Bolshevist GovernmentagreeS~ lo s end 

the Boishevists. One cKgisi iad pass edTFar-seeing Liberals 
thTnr-lost-a-greSl~chance: — -It was now the business of the 
conference to foUow^Igm^^ceaffJIiE^Qm^nRussia to pay 
its deBOcTFiF^^e of manyyearsi[__ sJiinding. Moreover, 
Sibelfe-layTJpSB~ttrJapssr and Japan was,.sefiding-seventy 
thousand:::rt^QPS--'»t®- Sii>eriai_ Japaifese statesmen were 
not likely to recall" these' troops upon a mere resolution of 
the Peace Conference. Japan talked then, as she has ever 
talked, of manifest destiny, of annexations, and of economic 
exploitation. Japan was and is the Prussia of the East. 
If Britain and America refused to deal with Lenine alone 
and the other Russian parties refused to go to Wilson's ren- 
dezvous in the Black Sea, then Wilson and Lloyd George 
must contrive some method of assisting the French to col- 
lects their debt; and all three powers, France, "Flngland, 
and the United States, miist manage jto-ke^-Sihgria from 

-flailing into the hands of Japanr~TBe outcome was the^olicy 
whicTTlaow prevails^ "It "has never Been~ avowed. zLt could 
not'"bBTa;vcww'dr-forJJiat JKOuld. haye diallengad Japan; and 
Japan- is the only nation in -l^e world .that is not sick of war 

—and militarism. France sent troops to southerB. Russia; 

*The Frinkipo conference proved a fiasco. 


England sent troops to northern Russia, and the United 
States was to take care of the Siberian railway.^ A great 
opportunity was suffered to slip. The reason was the ab- 
sence of a sufficiently well-instructed public opinion in Britain 
and America as evidenced in the elections which had taken 
place in the two countries only a few months before. Be- 
sides, Democracy herself would hardly have been wise enough 
to support a wise and liberal policy toward Russia. 

The decision in favour of closed sessions, the failure of the 
free-seas contention, and the lost opportunity of making peace 
with the Bolsheviki were victories for Clemenceau and the 
European point of view. The President had pronounced 
his Christian ideal. But European statesmen are not Chris- 
tians. Wilson, having felt the ground slipping from under 
him since the sudden collapse of imperial Germany, now made 
a r gsolute stand for item five of his fourteen points. That is, 
for a new treatment of qolonial possessipna . It was the prin- 
ciple of the Mobile address which Ambassador Page had felt 
constrained to explain before a British audience^ just before 
the great war, the principle that governments everywhere 
must seek the true ends of the peoples of backward countries 
and not their own ends. This involved the Monroe Doctrine ; 
it must be handled with gloves. 

But the German colonies offered a great opportunity. Wil- 
son seized upon it. These colonies were not to be parcelled 
out. They were to be made mandatories under a league 
of nations, a connecting link among the nations, much as the 
common possession of the Mississippi Valley was made the 
binding link of the American states in 1787. The President 
would make a fight for this idea. It was his first great fight 

^Tbe writer has no other support for this analysis than the ^vell-knovm facts in the case, 
What else can tbey mean? 
'A. B. Hut, "The Monroe Doctrine," £41. 


for the league of nations.'^ He knew Ms strength. Repub- 
lican opposition at home might not be rallied against him upon 
this. The Irish and the Germans would support him; and 
all the Liberals everywhere would sustain him. But immedi- 
ately the Australian premier, Hughes, appeared before the 
conference and demanded Germany's South Pacific posses- 
sions. The French Colonial Secretary, Simon, followed 
H^ghes and asked on behalf of France for the African Came- 
roons and Togoland, with the privilege of enlisting soldiers 
in the colonies for the exploiting country. That is, Lloyd 
George and Clemenceau spoke through these men in behalf of 
very definite parcels of the earth's surface. Italy stood aloof 
and Japan said nothing; but both Italy and Japan had simi- 
lar objectives. 

The issue was joined. Debates and arguments followed. 
The friendly tone of the French press changed to one of open 
hostility. Lloyd George declared himself for a league of 
nations and for the mandatories, as Wilson named his method, 
but only after the German colonies had been distributed. 
Clemenceau lost patience with Wilson and his "impractical 
ideas," while Premier Hughes conducted a press campaign 
against the President. What was said in confidence in the 
conferences was repeated in the newspapers till Wilson made 
effective protest. After a long struggle the British delega- 
tion yielded and the mandatory principle was adopt^.^ -It 
was the first victory that-Wil§oiiTra:d-^j3nv«iia theresult is 
to be fo)dfi3'iirth»--l«ague_Q£4iati(Sfis'^imstitution, article 23. 
This victory displeased the Australians. It was rather more 
satisfactory to the Japanese than otherwise; but it convinced 
the more liberal element ^.British public opinion that some 
kind of a leagiiS'-of nations was assured- From that time 

'Bv Stannard Baker in the Springfield RepuUican tor October SO, 1919. 


Lloyd George an j the British public in general teiiaeff 16 
suppoffwilson. In the United States Mr. Taf t and scores 
of other leaders discussed and urged the league idea upon 
the press and the public. Before the end of February public 
opinion was apparently very largely in favour of this major 
point in Wilson's programme.^ It was an important victory, 
but the fight for it revealed other secret agreements between 
Clemenceau and Lloyd George than those which the Russian 
Bolsheviki had published in November, 1917. Besides, and 
this was the most significant fact of the last days of January, 
it became plain that the British held the decisive vote; and 
British public opinion, being more mobile than that of the 
United States, was Wilson's decisive asset. Having lost his 
election in the preceding November, he might now win 
his world programme through the support of British liberal- 
ism. Wilson became more popular in England than Lloyd 
George. That was an advance, but whatever Wilson may 
have hoped to do on behalf of the Irish was in part lost. The 
Irish had set up their revolutionary Sinn Fein Government 
and challenged both England and the Peace Conference. 

On the other hand, the German elections which came at 
the close of the first deadlock of the conference gave the 
world assurance that what is called democracy, and not social-' 
ism, was to be the creed of the new republic. Overwhelming 
majorities sustained the moderate plan for a national assem- 
bly and the continuance of the influence of what is called 
"middle-class morality." In fact, Ebert and his regime in 
Germany were but German editions of the progressivism 
of Wilson. The world rested easy. The conference itself 
settled down to work as though it would continue and have its 
arrangements accepted at the end. 

^Newspaper polls showed very widespread popularity of the idea in January and February! 


But if Wilson were to succeed with his "impractical no- 
tions" he must himself take the helm. He had shqWn in the 
struggle about the German colonies that "skin-deep Amer- 
ican Christianity" was perhaps a match for the/ paganism 
of Paris, Already Wilson had insisted that the adoption of a 
league constitution, applying his fourteen points in so far as 
that was possible, would provide solutions for many problems. 
A JGom^ission for drafting the constitution of a league of 
nations haJlffieHF8^paiHtaedr-*Wil90» was ijg chairman.""TCor3" 
Robeft Cecil and General Smuts of England were its next most 
important members. Leon Bourgeois of France and Premier 
Orlando of Italy were other members. But if there was to be 
a league, Wilson and his British friends must shape it. Upon 
Britain and the United States alone depended its success. 
As early as August, 1915, Wilson had said to personal friends 
that the war must not end without a league which should out- 
law war. The idea grew upon him. He lent his aid to the 
campaign which the American League to Enforce Peace was 
making. And when he went to Paris, it was everywhere un- 
derstood that he would urge some scheme of a world-federa- 
tion. It was, in fact, the great reason behind his whple war 
programme. Wi thout theh ops-£^_^iis realizationhe-would'^ 
not have gone to Europe.'^ '^ 

He"'?rorfSea day and night with his group. They formu- 
lated a plan early in February. It was the first and better 
draft which appeared in print later in the month. It was 
general in terms. Its aim was disarmament, cooperation 
of the great nations in a general council to sit continuously, 
and cooperation of all the peoples of the world in a larger 
assembly which should gather at stated times for the discus- 
sion of subjects vital to the peace of the world. And there 

■Williuni Allen White in tlhs Saturday Eeming Foil, August 16, 1919, s!iya that the league 
would not have been mentioned there butjor his inaijteaoe. 


was to be a definite system of control and guidance of the 
undeveloped peoples, a system whereby the more enterpris- 
ing nations and their citizens might develop natural resources 
without coming into constant conflict with suspicious natives, 
and without beginning rivalries that might lead to wars be- 
tween the great nations. The outline was simple. It gave 
no country an imdue advantage, except the English who al- 
ready held in undisputed control great peoples and vast 
spaces of the world like India and Egypt. But no one could 
have expected that Great Britain would give up such pos- 
sessions any more than it could have been expected that the 
United States would give up Texas or New Mexico.* 

It was certainly a beginning. Wilson insisted that the 
league should be made a part of the treaty. That looked 
radical indeed to men who had but yesterday acknowledged 
the need of any league at all. Resistance followed. But 
before the middle of February it was evident to everyone 
that the members of the conference could not agree upon 
any treaty at all without some such organization as the league 
contemplated. France demanded a Rhine confederation 
which should be carved out of West Prussia. It should be a 
satellite of the French Government. Moreover, France must 
have the Saar Valley in fee simple in addition to Alsace- 
Lorraine. Of course the reparations were not to be over- 
looked. But Lloyd George and the British, although they 
might have agreed in 1915 to the secret treaty with Russia 
looking to this end, were now opposed. General Foch and 
all the military men insisted that nothing less than a Rhine 
frontier would insure peace. They talked like Napo- 
leon I, as all military men are wont to do. Lloyd George's 
enemy. Lord Northcliflfe and his syndicate of newspapers, 

'The Yale Review for Septeicber, 1919, contains an able review of the inception and growth o( 
the league idea in Paris by Charles Seymour. 


took the French point of view. Northcliffe occupied a resi- 
dence in Versailles to be close to the British delegation at all 
times. The British premier was in a fair way to be over- 
thrown. The situation was critical even in mid-February. 

In Italy an equally critical situation developed. Baron Son- 
nino and Seflor Orlando, the governing voices in Rome, were 
inclined to be moderate expansionists in view of the economic 
condition of Italy, as well as in remembrance of the history 
of the war. There was a party of ardent imperialists in Italy, 
as there is in the United States. Italy is overpopulated 
as it has been for hundreds of years. The imperialists de- 
sired to save the loss of millions of emigrants by securing 
lands for them in the near East, anywhere in the Mediterran- 
ean basin. At the same time they insisted that the future 
was destined to be warlike as, indeed, the past had been, 
and hence they must annex the mountainous coasts of the 
eastern Adriatic, seize and fortify every harbour from Venice 
to Cattaro if not to Corfu, and make of the ancient sea an 
Italian lake, as the British had done with the greater Mediter- 
ranean in the eighteenth century. It was a magnificent plan. 
The armistice had already violated the Wilson doctrine of the 
self-determination of peoples in recognizing Italian sov- 
ereignty over Austrians in Tyrol and over Slavs about 
Trieste. Why might not the whole Wilson programme be 

This idea appealed to a powerful member of the Italian 
parliament, Giolitti. This able leader had before the German 
war exercised a controlling influence in Italian politics and 
finance. He had been the constant supporter of the German 
influence in Italy. During the war he was associated with 
the defeatists and on more than one occasion threatened to 
change the course of Italian history. His theory was that 
the Allies would be defeated, that Italy would suffer in con- 


sequence, and finally that through neutrality alone the coun- 
try could prosper and increase its power in the world. When 
the war came suddenly to an end and Austria, the enemy of 
a thousand years, broke into pieces, he found the Govern- 
ment still moderate. Orlando was. In fact, a partial sup- 
porter of the Wilson ideal and by no means certain that he 
should ask more than had been assured in the armistice. 

The opportunity was too great. Giolitti made a complete 
political somersault. He organized a movement looking 
to the annexation of the whole Dalmatian coast. Fiume 
was the least that could be asked. The militarists joined 
him. The so-called strategists of the navy were delighted. 
The jingoists of the type of D'Annunzio aided the Giolitti 
group. Suddenly a powerful opposition appeared in Parlia- 
ment. The moderate Government was attacked for its 
failure to seize the great moment in Italian history. This 
movement was going on while Wilson was pressing his 
league idea. It was not completed until early in April.* 

But Clemenceau could no more allow an imperialist Italy 
to seize all the strategic points on the Adriatic and subject 
Austria, Czecho-Slovakia, Hungary, and the Jugo-Slavs to 
her will than he could assent to the return of the Saar Valley 
to Germany. Imperialism i§_a.,game_that_any one with an 
army and a navy can play. France hardly Sew hpw to 
thwgijlij^ly without a breach jwhichwQuliplay at once into ^^\ 
Wilson's hands. Clemenceau began to think of the league : \ 
of nations. It might; aftel-'all, sefve^ome'pui^ioser"^ 

Wbile'T£aIy"prepafed7 'despite' her -appaUing. economic de- 
pendence, to play the great game, Polish statesmen laid out a 
state which was to stretch from the Baltic to the Black Sea 
and which was to absorb Danzig and large areas of settled 

^C. £. Merriam, "Italian Politics and Parties." Chapter Vll. a book Dot yet publislied, 
kiudly loaned to the writer. 


non-Polish territory. Ancient Poland was to be re-erected 
and the maintenance of the peace of the Baltic region was 
to be her peculiar mission. Clemenceau, like the leaders of 
France in the seventeenth century, thought that a good 
scheme to keep Germany busy on that frontier. Here again 
was a problem and a solution that would have been but the 
beginning of another war. If Italy was to be the mistress of 
the new Balkan ensemble and Poland the manager of a simi- 
lar tragedy on the frontiers of old Russia what were the bene- 
ficial results of the war? Simply the absence of German 

Really, the commissions of the conference which set about 
remaking the map of Europe while Wilson worked upon the 
league constitution were not making the headway that simple, 
old-fashioned diplomats had expected. There was no other 
way but that of the "simple Mr. Wilson" as Clemenceau was 
wont to say. It was therefore agreed with some misgivings 
that there should be a leaguejjhat .tbe-league should be a 
part of the treaty" rtsBlf .and the first outline of its principal 
clauses was formally proclaimed to the world.^ Thus the 
complex and pressing difficulties of prostrate Europe were 
to be put in a way of settlement. British Liberals and the 
American President were about to find a way forward, in 
spite of the handicaps. As Wilson took ship for Washington 
to sign a score of bills that required his presence and to per- 
suade a recalcitrant congress that the world expected great 
things of it, Europe experienced a second warming to the 
"impracticable man from America." 

But as the European statesmen began to settle down to ac- 
ceptance of the Wilson ideal, at least in a measure, the wish 
on their part to have the United States araume the greater 

>WiIIiam .\llen White gives a good account of this part of the negotiationi in Tlie Satvriau 
Evming Foil, August 16, 191S. 


part of the allied debt incurred in the war against Germany 
took rather definite form. If there was to be a world league 
and victorious nations were to be denied the spoils of war, 
then the league should take over the international debt, the 
United States bearing a disproportionate part because of her 
immense riches and her late entrance into the struggle. 
Wilson might have his league and a new world order might 
be set up, if the United States would consent to this.^ 

It was not a wholly unreasonable proposition. It showed, 
moreover, that European statesmen had read American his- 
tory. The new world-state, if it were to be set up as Wilson 
and his liberal-radical friends wished, should, like the Federal 
Government of 1789, take over the debt which had been in- 
curred in preparing the way for it. Tha:ajQmzing,Eoint.was 
that seasihlejcagnj_who_knew the United States, should sup- 
pose that Wilson could bring about the adoption of such a plan 
in a sui^e^tate'^"the- A-mericaii Union. Wilson s" victiSty, 
as-ie Was about to set out for America, threatened to be 
too complete. Clemenceau, Lloyd George, and Orlando, if 
.^ley^were to enter a new world federation, would go all the 
way and ask the President to go with them. 

Wilson returned by way of Boston and there gave voice to 
his zeal and enthusiasm for the league. The outlook seemed 
good. But he was only running into a new hornets' nest. 
The success of his league with British approval only gave 
the million or more of Germans and German sympathizers 
in the United States an issue. They could not denounce 
the armistice. They could not oppose the President as such 

'A peraonal letter of January S, 1919, from one of the American commiasioperB reads: "It is 
common to hear that the Ur.ited States should not only cancel the Allies debts, but that we should 
go back to August 1, 1914, and share the debts that England, France, and Italy have piled up in 
order to defeat Germany. The suggestions go even further in that they ask that the debts 
be apportioned according to the resources of each nation and that an allowance should be made 
lot the loss of man power." 


without risk. They could attack any specific idea, the more 
if it forced a secondary r6le upon Germany. Germans who 
had shouted for Wilson as he talked in France and in England 
about the new day, the day of peoples as against govern- 
ments, now turnfid overnight from enthusiastic supporters 
to violent opponents.' 

The fact thatj British statesmen favoured the league and 
the additional fact that Wilson had not of his own strength 
ordered the demolition of the Grand Fleet, and thereby vi- 
olated the terms of the armistice was argument enough for 
another million Irishmen to desert the President whom most 
of them had voted for in 1916. Whatever England favoured 
was to be opposed by Irish leaders and Irish churchmen of 
high rank. A great congress of Irish societies was arranged 
to meet in Philadelphia, in Independence Hall, while Wilson 
was in Washington. It was intended to endorse Irish in- 
dependence and then a delegation was to be sent to warn the 
President against his course. What a world we live in ! The 
Germans had defeated the campaign of Mr. Hughes by shout- 
ing and voting for him. The Irish had done much to elect 
Mr. Wilson by the same course. Now both Germans and 
Irish proposed to defeat any league of nations and any settle- 
ment of Europe that left British power and British prestige 
unbroken. With whom might Wilson work out a solution? 
Clemenceau? That could not be. With the new German 
leaders? No American chieftain could endure the odium of 
such an alliance. With English statesmen ? Then he must lose 
a large part of the strength the last flection had left him! 

With all this plainly before him in every newspaper, the 
President went on to Washington. There he met a group of 
the leaders of Congress. They proved intractable, irreconcil- 

■Any examination o{ the German papers will show this. The author knows a score o{ people 
Vftto made fAue sudden change. 


able. Senator Lodge talked Irish. Senator Johnson talked 
Irish. Penrose of Pennsylvania supported Lodge and John- 
son, two strange bedfellows. Democrats were bothered about 
the Irish. A cabinet oflScer was reported to have said that 
he dared not make a speech in a northern city. It was the 
Irish. The great Irish meeting in Philadelphia, blessed by 
a cardinal and approved by archbishops, held high language, 
passed resolutions for Irish independence^ and appointed 
a delegation, led by a former Democratic governor, by an 
Irish labour spokesman, and by a justice of a state supreme 
court who had trod very near the edge of treason to the 
United States at a critical moment of the war. While Wilson 
argued in the White House with senators and representatives 
on behalf of the league of nations, these influential delegates 
of a great segment of the American nation asked a hearing. 
They were refused. They showed an angry temper and al- 
most demanded a hearing. It was granted them in New 
York the evening before the President sailed the second time 
for Paris, the evening of March 4th. 

Justice Cohalan, Wilson would not see. But two of the 
delegates of the Irish Americans followed the President to 
Paris, obtained permission to visit Ireland, there fraternized 
with the extremists of the Sinn Fein party, made speeches 
and protests until the British Liberals lost all patience and 
the British Government refused to hear the returning Ameri- 
cans when they reached Paris a second time. They did see 
the President a second time, learned from him what any one 
must have known already, that the Irish cause was more 
hopeless then than it had been at any time since the war 
closed. How could Wilson intercede for the Irish when the 
Irish made their case the only case in the world, when their 
leaders proposed to compel the world to wait upon them, 

>Aa the Ciecho-SIovaks had done Jul)' 9, 1918; see ante, p. 278. 


and even to precipitate another war if they did not get ex- 
actly what they asked, including the subjection of Protestant 
Ulster to the will of Catholic Ireland? In the midst of this 
stirring excitement, the Senate of the United States showed 
the metal of which its members were made by the adoption 
of a resolution calling upon the President to press the cause 
of Ireland before the Peace Conference. JohnSharp Williams 
was the only senator who had the independence to oppose 
this unprecedented attempt of that body to queer the rela- 
tions of the country with the most friendly nation in the world. 

These are some of the complications that Wilson found in 
his own country when he submitted the first draft of the 
league of nations. It was, as I have said, a document of the 
peatest simplicity. It outlin ed in gener al, rather than in 
'Specific, terms the plan of fiiture international coSperation. 
It did not mention the Monroe Doctrine. It omitted all 
reference to the Japanese demand for racial equality. Im- 
mediately the leaders of the Senate demanded the incorpora- 
tion of a statement specially excepting the Monroe Doctrine 
from any jurisdiction or even discussion in the proposed 
league assembly or council. They asked, further, that the 
United States should be granted leave to withdraw from the 
league upon the giving of notice. And Senator Knox, form- 
erly Secretary of State in the Taf t Administration, began his 
onslaughts upon the league as an agency of future wars, as 
a plan for the abandonment of every sovereign power of the 
United States and the wilful flaunting of all the sacred teach- 
ings of Washington. Mr. Taft was so impressed by the 
vigour of the opposition that he cabled the President at the 
critical moment urging him to acquiesce in certain proposed 

It was the United States that now came to the fore and the 

>New York TiTnu, April 2, 1919. 


very leaders in the United States who had attacked Wilson 
most violently because he went slowly into the war were now 
the men who would employ every possible weapon to anger 
the British, weaken the President, and postpone the pacifica- 
tion of the world. Yet one need not express surprise. It 
was human nature, human nature in a rather aggravated 
form. The groups of the country were not united.' This 
dis-unity now expressed itself, because it might do so with- 
out appearance of disloyalty. And there was the deep- 
seated party issue. Republican leaders, accustomed to 
occupy the seats of responsibility, could not, even in a grave 
crisis, recognize inwardly the fact that they were not in con- 
trol of affairs. 

But the object of the President's return to Washington 
was to sign the great appropriation bills that were to be 
passed during the last days of the session of Congress, to hold 
conference with Cabinet and other officials upon the state of 
the country, and to seek to apply remedies to things that 
needed remedies or avert ills that might be averted. What 
happened? A group of senators who had stood well with the 
nation for many years, men who had supported Mr. Taft in 
the stormy days of 1912, and other men who had sung "On- 
ward Christian Soldiers" with Roosevelt in the Progressive 
convention, now united to thwart the President at every 
turn. Two years before these same leaders had been out- 
raged at the conduct of Senator La FoUette and his "wilful" 
colleagues because they defeated the war purposes of the 
coimtry in a spectacular filibuster. Now, three senators, led 
by Sherman of Illinois, with the consent of Lodge and Johnson, 
themselves aspirants to the presidency, filibustered to death 
all the great appropriation bills. The railway administra- 
tion bill, appropriating more than half a billion dollars, a great 

'The "melting pot" had not done its work. 


education measure which had the approval of all sections of 
the country, and the general supplies bill were all alike de- 
feated while the President waited in the capitol to sign the 
needed laws and thus keep the wheels of government going in 
accordance with immemorial custom. This happened in a 
senate nominally Democratic and friendly. What might not 
happen when the next Congress assembled? Men denounced 
Wilson because he had gone away from Washington. Men of 
influence and power all over the East declared that he had de- 
serted his post of duty. Now, when he had returned and 
waited to do his duty, three members of the Senate took 
away every chance of his doing it; and influential men in 
the industrial centres of the North approved. 

Nor had these imexpected events been without effect in 
Paris and London. The men at the Peace Conference who 
still wished a peace without the assistance of the United 
States, save in the capacity of Santa Claus, took a new cue 
from the American dispatches. Their conversion to the 
principle of international good will, as indicated in the accept- 
ance of the league of nations idea, had not been very thorough. 
Wilson knew the changing tone. But he set out once again, 
as I have already indicated, for Paris, without calling Con- 
gress in extra session, there to resume his lone battle for his 
ideals. In his address before a great audience in New York 
he showed no signs of the distress under which he laboured. 
Ex-President Taft generously spoke from the same platform. 
He, too, urged the adoption of a constitution for a league of 
nations as the only possible conclusion to the great war. The 
former president risked much with his party associates who 
were then on their way home to renew their attacks upon the 
President and all his works.* 

'The New York TiiMt of March S, 1919, ^ves an'account of the meeting and the teit of 
Wikos's address. 


Wilson said that lie would not come back "till it was all 
over over there," playing upon a popular war song of the 
day. He urged that it was not a party issue that he was 
pressing, that the peoples of Europe were in extreme need of 
peace, that he could not account for the ignorance of world 
affairs shown by his leading opponents; and he besought men 
to think of the future, of the ages to come, not the exigencies 
of the hour. He closed with an optimistic note. He ex- 
pected that, in spite of all, the conference would rise to its 
high obligation and set the world upon a better way and 
that Americans would yet repent their bitter opposition to 
the league idea. There was ample time to think as the 
George Washington returned him to the scene of conflict in 
Paris. Should he yet win a just peace and a promising league 
of nations? 


WHEN Wilson returned to Paris a second time, March 
13, 1919, he found that under the leadership of Clemenceau 
the league of nations and the proposed treaty, as agreed upon 
January 25th and confirmed February 14th, had been sepa- 
rated.* The news from Washington greatly influenced the 
members of the conference. Certainly they endeavoured once 
more to write a treaty in which enormous indemnities and the 
Rhine boundary should be secured to France, in which Italy 
was to have her way in the Adriatic, and Japan was to have 
the German islands in the northern Pacific and the Chinese 
province of Shantimg. No one talked seriously of a league of 
nations. Wilson was thought to be a defeated man, even 
Mr. Arthur J. Balfour and the other British leaders had ap- 
parently deserted the President.' It was to be a quick agree- 
ment now upon a "strong" peace, a resolute attitude toward 
Russia, and a prompt return to business as usual. The four- 
teen points were to be "scrapped," not even the terms of 
the armistice serving as a restraint. 

How foolish, then, must have appeared the talk of the 
President on the night of his departure from New York! 
He had said to the Senate leaders and to the country that 
the league and the treaty should be so interwoven that they 
could not be disentangled. He had said as much in New 

'William Allen White, in The Saturday Earning Pott, August 16, 1919, "Hearings," Senate 
Committee on Foreign Relations, 06th Congress, 1st Session, Vol. 3, p. 1S31. 
*Ray Stonnard Baker in Springfield Republican^ November 6, 1919. 



York in September, 1918. And the conference had agreed on 
two occasions that this should be done. On the day of his 
arrival in Paris no one seemed to take him seriously when he 
talked as if there was still no doubt on the point. The Euro- 
peans had not taken the measure of the President. As I have 
shown already in these pages, European statesmen had never 
taken him seriously, except when it proved absolutely neces- 
sary to gain his support or lose the war. 

WUson was the only eminent man in the world who really 
thought that the principles on which the United States 
entered the war were to be incorporated in the terms of 
the peace. Yet people blamed him for playing a lone 
hand! But on March 17th he published a statement in 
the French papers that there must be a league of na- 
tions and that it must be an integral part of the treaty. 
It set all Paris agog. Upon what real power could the 
President rest any such pretensions as that short announce- 
ment assumed.'' Wilson had at that time three sources 
of influence in the world: he could refuse, as President 
of the United States, to accept the treaty when finished; he 
could cease approving the grants of hundreds of millions 
of credit to European governments; and he could announce 
that, in his opinion, the moral forces of the world should not 
approve the proposed settlement. 

But as President the majority of Congress was against him, 
and to have taken the first course would have challenged the 
very elements in American life most hostile to him and which 
had prevailed in the last election. If he took the second 
course and refused to lend credits, on which American exports 
were sent abroad, he would have practically laid an embargo 
upon American trade. For without the support of the 
United States the credit of both France and Italy, to say 
nothing of the smaller countries, would have collapsed. 


The effect of such a course would have been terrible both at 
home and abroad. It would have brought that universal 
panic which so many business men and economists were 
predicting every day.^ The third course was the only one left. 
How much moral strength Wilson had one may never say. 
But it was even at that late hour very great. Only it could 
not be tested with safety, for so long as his actual programme 
remained unpublished, great numbers of Germans in the 
United States might sustain him, similar numbers of Irish 
voters would shout for him, and that body of British opinion 
which Lloyd George had flaunted in the last campaign 
would look to him as its spokesman. Even to try to win a 
great struggle without the legislative support of his own 
country, when many of the other elements of support were 
intangible and when British liberalism was discredited, 
was boldness that approached rashness. And yet timidity 
was the charge of the American Liberals! 

But Wilson has another source of strength. His personal 
presence, his unparalleled power of persuasion, his voice make 
him a force in any group, I was about to say the dominant 
force in any group of men. Few men, not already hardened 
partisans, who have come into close relation with him have 
been able to resist his appeals. Although the one master 
of the conference after Wilson, Clemenceau, could not be 
touched by these influences, the British felt them keenly. 
Lloyd George and Sir Robert Cecil, if not Mr. Balfour, made 
certain proof of this every day they worked with him. And 
it was, after all, the attitude of the British delegation which 
determined Wilson's success and even prevented the break-up 
of the conference without a treaty or a league.' 

^Harold G. Moulton in Yale Renew, October, 1919, and in many other publications during 
the winter and spring of 1919. 

Tliia View rests upon an examination of all the available'evidence rather than upon specific 


On March 18th, Wilson, Clemenceau, and Lloyd George were 
in serious conference. There can be little doubt what the 
President said. Clemenceau's contention was doubtless 
what it had ever been: indemnities that would bind Germany 
for "a hundred years, five hundred years, Stephan Lauzanne 
suggests in the North American Review,^ and the coveted 
Rhine frontier. Lloyd George must bring the two together. 
For a week there was deadlock. On March 26th, it was an- 
nounced that there would be a league of nations. That much 
Clemenceau would yield. And it might be a part of the 
treaty. Only Wilson must agree to an American-British- 
French alliance against Germany. That is, the conference 
got back to the point where it had been on January 25th P If 
France must content herself with Alsace-Lorraine and mere 
reparations, then the critical economic situation must not be 
made worse by any recognition or relief of Russian radicalism 
which did not secure the repayment of the seven billions of 
loans to the old imperial regime. Nor would Clemenceau 
ever consent to a clause in the treaty or the league which al- 
lowed Austria to unite with Germany. 

Wilson could hardly consent to any repressive measures in 
Russia. How could foreign powers compel the Bolshevists 
to pay the debts of Nicholas and his predecessors? And 
what could Wilson say if the idea of the self-determination of 
peoples were brought to naught in the fixing of a decree 
against the union of groups of the same nationality such as 
Germany and Austria? It was Wilson versus Clemenceau, 
with Italy on the side of Clemenceau, and Lloyd George wav- 
ering. The subject of German indemnities disturbed him. 

Everybody who read the dispatches realized that the 
crisis was at its worst and that a break-up of the conference 

'November, 1919. 

•The New York Timet, March 87, 1919. 


was not at all unlikely. To compel Wilson to yield, a vig- 
orous campaign was waged from the very day lie embarlited 
from New York. From the United States came the nfws 
that Mr. Biyan insisted upon an amendment to the prop0sed 
league exempting the Monroe Doctrine.^ Before the end of 
March Wilson knew that Messrs. Root and Taft would favour 
and ask the same thing.* Cardinal Gibbons, hitherto cdunted 
as friendly to the President, announced on April 5th, wnen all 
the world knew that Wilson was ill and in bed, that he was 
opposed to the league and that he, too, would have the treaty 
hastened. The most casual reading of the American news- 
papers during the latter part of March and the early days of 
April will disclose the fact that a wide-flung campaign 
against the league and for a "hard peace" was being con- 
ducted. The leaders of the Republican party were doing 
their utmost as must have been expected.' Unijuestioned 
success of Wilson at Paris would have been the ruin of their 
party for a decade to come. 

If Wilson asked Clemenceau to amend the league covenant, 
it would be the first step in the conclusion of a treaty that 
would violate many if not most of the fourteen points, for if 
he were compelled to ask for a great American concession 
how could he refuse Clemenceau his demand? But the 
Boston Transcript announced that the fourteen points had 
been repudiated in the November elections. Even the New 
York Times, a steady support hitherto, began to say "hurry 
the treaty." The "backfire" from home was certainly both 
rapid and severe as the final decision approached. Wilson's 
first statement upon reaching Paris had been that the league 

■The New York Timei, March li, 1919. It is not suggeated that Bryan waa influenced bj 
the press campaign. 
'Ibid., April Snd. 
TAf LUerary Digal, April ISth, shows the nature of the criti'^'sm. 


constitution would not be amended,^ a statement that 
probably did as much harm as good. 

Nor was the campaign in Europe less intense. The 
attitude of the Irish was well expressed in a pronouncement 
made in Paris on March 10th, by John T. O'Kelley, the Sinn 
Fein envoy: "We have pleaded and spoken gently to 
President Wilson long enough. The time has come for acts. 
We can stop ratification of this league of nations in Congress 
if the Irish question is not settled."* By settlement was 
meant absolute independence. The British opposition was 
indicated by the London Daily Express, the Globe, the Pall 
Mall Gazette, the Saturday Review, and the vitriolic Morn- 
ing Post, not to mention the Northcliffe papers, already bent 
on the overthrow of Lloyd George.' The London Globe called 
Wilson's attitude "autocracy." The Daily Express lamented 
his stubbornness. The Pall Mall Gazette said that he simply 
did not know the mischief he was doing. The Northcliffe 
papers attacked Lloyd George because he did not support with 
sufficient vigour the French demands for the Rhine frontier. 
The whole conservative element in parliament seemed to 
unite in a campaign to overthrow the prime minister, an 
event which might have caused a break-up of the Peace Con- 
ference. And Christabel Pankhurst, the suffragist leader, 
declared in a wildly applauded speech in London that Wilson 
and Lloyd George were the villains of Paris, they were the 
shields of Bolshevism. 

In Paris the pressure was more direct and at the same time 
more subtle. When Colonel House undertook to prepare 
the way for the Monroe Doctrine, as an amendment to the 
league, the British helped him on by ready agreement. This 

'The New York Times, March 18, 1919. 

'Ihid., March 10th. 

'lUd., March 18tb to April 10th, gives the best reflex of London opinion. 


was on April 20th. The next day the Swiss tried in a meeting 
of the neutrals gathered in Paris to mediate on this delicate 
subject. Admitting the Monroe Doctrine into the league 
covenant meant a weakening of the President. It gave his 
opponents the best possible opportunity to press their claims. 
Italy, seeing hf r advantage, immediately demanded Fiume, on 
pain of recalling her delegation. The French returned to 
then* huge indemnities and strengthened their claims for the 
Saar district, even for the Prussian region that lay north of 
the Saar basin. The diplomatic maneuvers were making fast, 
when the Japanese renewed more vigorously than ever their 
demand for the recognition of the equality of all peoples.* The 
President intimated on April 1st that he would leave for home 
if the Rhine frontier were longer demanded. His reply to the 
persistent French argument was that he would not create 
another "Alsace-Lorraine." It was this ceaseless heckling of 
Wilson by the French militarists about the annexation of all 
German territory west of the Rhine that caused the long de- 
lays and that was breaking his health. 

If there was ever a clear case of short-sighted social reac- 
tion against a far-sighted liberalism, it was just this intense 
struggle between Clemenceau the realist and Wilson the 
idealist. The one reviled the fourteen points as the "four- 
teen commandments," the other appealed to the Golden 
Rule as a safe law of politics. The one insisted upon violat- 
ing the terms of the armistice only a few months old, and yet 
/pleaded for the sacredness of secret treaties made in 1915; the 
other urged the binding character of the armistice and 
insisted that secret treaties must be discarded.* The irony 
of it all was that these contentions and appeals could not be 

■The New York Times, March 17th, 20th, eist, «3rd, and April 3rd. 
testimony of Secretary Lansing before Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Washington 
Post, August li, 1919. 


made in the open without an immediate disruption of the 
conference which all men feared, perhaps feared too much. 

The last phase of the deadlock came under circumstances 
well worth a review. Colonel House and Lloyd George 
had authorized a secret mission to Russia a day or two after 
Wilson's departure for Washington. William C. Bullitt, a 
clever and apparently very vain correspondent of the Phila- 
delphia Ledger, headed the mission.* Bullitt understood that 
certain instructions which both House and the private secre- 
tary of Mr. Lloyd George gave him would probably be 
acceptable as a basis of negotiations with the Bolshevist 
regime in Russia. It was the renewal of the very important 
proposal of Lloyd George and the President when the con- 
ference met. That the whole thing was much in doubt was 
evidenced by the profound secrecy of the undertaking. It 
was a most delicate thing, for public opinion in France was 
overwhelmingly opposed to any dealings with Lenine, and 
public opinion in England and the United States was hardly 
less hostile. 

Bullitt, Lincoln Steffens, Walter Weyl, and a captain of the 
army were taken to the border of Russia on a British war 
vessel. They reached Moscow and within a week securec" 
certain propositions from the Soviet Government on which 
peace and a lifting of the blockade might be arranged with 
the conference. But Lenine stipxilated that the offer of 
terms must come from the powers in Paris and not from 
himself and that April 10th was the last day on which over- 
tures would be received. The tone was the tone of a victor 
in war.' Mr. Bullitt, exultant that his mission promised 
success, returned to Paris at the end of March, at the very 

iBulIitt*8 story was told to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations^ September 12i 1019* 
"Hearinga," e6th Congrew, 1st Session, Volume i. 

*The documents in these negotiations are given in the "Hearings" of the Senate committee 
above mentioned and cited, pp. 1^8-50. 


moment when the deadlock was apparently beyond the Presi- 
dent's power to break except upon a withdrawal of the 
American delegation. While Clemenceau was asked to give 
up the Rhine frontier, to agree to moderate reparations, and 
to submit the fortunes of France to the protection of a 
league of nations in which few men in France had any faith, 
Mr. Bullitt insisted that this secret mission should at once be 
recognized, that the whole allied world, in spite of the growing 
hostility of the British press to Lloyd George, should make 
overtures to the head of the Soviet Government.^ 

The President thought he could not safely press the matter 
then. The plans of Mr. Bullitt, if not his associates, natur- 
ally leaked into the press of Britain and the United States.' 
There was widespread disapproval. The student of history 
will hardly doubt that the acceptance of the opportunity 
offered in the Bullitt proposals, which included an agreement 
on the part of the Russians to repay the French loans, would 
have been wise and salutary. But their acceptance meant 
the certain overthrow of Lloyd George and the probable 
appearance of Northcliffe as the head of the British delegation 
at Paris. That, of course, would have been the signal of 
victory for Clemenceau, and Wilson would have stood with- 
out even the vacillating support of Lloyd George. Upon 
the refusal of the President to urge the conference to accept 
the proposals from Russia, Bullitt resigned in a spirit that 
revealed a rare mind. One would have supposed that 
he was the next ranking member of the American com- 
mission. And it must be said that every paper of con- 
sequence in the United States published the vituperative 

'The story is told with dramatic effect before the Senate leaders not one of whom would have 
lent a shadow of support to the President if he had urged recognition of Lenine upon the con- 
ference. See "Hearings" for September 19. 1919. 

>Liltrary Digtri, April li, 1919. 


letter he wrote to the President in which he announced that 
the United States should never either sign the treaty or adopt 
the league, that Wilson himself had abandoned the leadership 
of mankind] and consigned the world to another century of 

Bombastic and unreasonable as this attack upon the 
President was it proved to be the signal for organization 
and renewed war upon Wilson. The Nation now sent one 
of its leading correspondents to Washington to bring about 
an alliance between the extreme radicals of New York and the 
Bourbons of the Senate.^ "I have always liked Congress 
whole-heartedly. It is a good American body," said its 
correspondent. That was doubtless true. The amusing 
part was that the spokesman of extreme radicalism, advocate 
even of the soviet system of government, should have said it. 

On April 3rd, Wilson fell ill. He kept to his bed nearly a 
week. At the same time Hungary turned Bolshevist and 
Austria seemed on the verge of anarchy. Japan revealed her 
unyielding will to despoil China. The Poles must have a great 
empire that stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea and 
Greece would not be content without the possession of Con- 
stantinople. Clemenceau remained obdurate. It was thought 
that the President could not long withstand the pressure. 
The Echo de Paris expressed the common feeling when it said 
on April 5th: "The league of nations lies in pieces in Hotel 
Crillon." Wilson made public his message for the George 
Washington to sail for Brest to be in readiness for him.' 
When he called for his ship, the London Times and its sub- 
ordinate papers renewed their attacks upon Lloyd George. 
There came a respite in Paris for a few days after the Presi- 

The New York Nation, May 31, 1919. 
'lincoln Colcord in The Nation, May 31, 1919. 
•The New York Tima, AprU 1-7, 1919. 


dent rose from his sick bed. It looked to some as if the party 
of Clemenceau would yield. 

It only looked so. Wilson had made it plain to all the 
world what he wanted. A league of nations with powers, 
an international agreement based upon the fourteen points. 
This league he wanted so much that Clemenceau realized 
that he would give much for it. A new way to defeat the 
President was devised. On April 10th, three hundrM and 
seventy members of the House of Commons signed a telegram 
to Lloyd George demanding a quick and a hard peace, that is, 
a defeat of Wilson. Six days later Clemenceau's minister for 
foreign affairs asked the French Deputies for a vote of con- 
fidence. It was given on a vote of 534 to 166.^ The radicals 
of the world had said that Clemenceau would be overthrown 
if he repudiated the fourteen points. This was the reply. 
Wilson heard it. On the same day, the 16th of April, Lloyd 
George met the conservative opposition in the House of Com- 
mons and likewise received a vote of confidence. Instead of 
yielding the lines of the deadlock were tightening. There had 
been exactly one month of absolute deadlock. Would Wil- 
son yield or would he risk a break-up of the conference? 

As nearly as the facts now allow one to say, he at last agreed 
to Clemenceau's demand for an alliance between France, 
England, and the United States; and Clemenceau yielded the 
French demand for the Rhine frontier. That meant com- 
promise. Immediately Italy laid an ultimatum upon the 
table. It was Fiume or Italy would cease to negotiate. The 
same day the Japanese or others, who knew well the old game 
of diplomacy, started stories that Japan had been promised 
Shantung by both France and England, that Japan had been 
offered most favourable terms from Germany in 1917, and that 
the starving fifty-seven millions of Japanese must have land, 

'The New York Tima, April 11th and 17th. 


more land. The United States would not allow Japanese to 
emigrate to either of the Americas, where hundreds of millions 
of men might be fed and clothed. The United States would 
not allow the Japanese to seize and hold Siberia where there 
were other vast areas of land unoccupied. It was un- 
friendly, im-Christian; the Japanese government could not 
stand a day if Shantung were not granted. " Japan could not 
view without apprehension the moral awakening of four 
hundred million Chinese."^ 

Clemenceau and Wilson had agreed to compromise the 
great issue! For ten years^ Wilson had taught revolution, 
revolution after peaceful methods, to be sure. Constitutions, 
laws, and social habits which everywhere upheld the unpre- 
cedented inequalities in modern society created by the in- 
dustrial revolution of the last century he would amend, 
repeal, or ameliorate. Even governments had been attacked 
on his tours through England and Italy. It was a day of the 
self-determination of peoples, a new-old struggle for democ- 
racy. As a result of this constant preaching he had been 
elevated to the governorship of a state, then to the presi- 
dency of the United States, and now he stood in Paris, con- 
fronted by the ancient enemy of all revolution, of democracy. 
His own country was officially against him; its articulate 
elements had grown tired of his reforms, and had learned how 
to thwart him. Appealing still to common men everywhere, 
he had adjourned his American struggle to Paris where the 
world was his parish. It was a great moment in history. 
Could it be turned to account for world democracy.'' 

In Germany jiist four hundred years before there stood 
another professor who had published ninety-five theses whose 

*A widely circulated statement of Viscount Ishii. 

'From the day wheQ the struggle at Frinceton became acute and typical of the great socitl 
struggle outside mere college walls. See Chapter III of this book. ' 


effect was revolution. Every year the fame and power of the 
new leader spread till German public opinion was stirred to its 
very depths. His sermons and his marvellous pamphlets on 
"The Babylonian Captivity" and "The Freedom of a 
Christian Man" had aroused in the minds of simple and op- 
pressed men all over Germany that hopeof a millennium which 
has again and again in history flamed forth and consumed 
some of the dross of overgrown materialism. But when 
scores of thousands of peasants, under the leadership of Hans 
and Heinrich, prepared to act upon the new principles Luther 
warned them against their simple logic. Actual revolution 
he could not inaugurate. The terrors of a national, if not a 
world-wide, social conflict he dreaded. He tremblied be- 
fore the consequence which his keener mind pictured to him. 
He compromised and approved a ruthless slaughter of the 
poor peasants.* 

Confronted with all the facts of the complicated case in 
Paris, would Wilson join the Radicals of Russia, stir the emo- 
tions of the great masses of unknown men everywhere, and 
challenge his own country by breaking up the conference? 
That was the alternative and every keen-minded man in Paris 
knew it. Wilson wished to persuade men; violence and war 
he hated now as when he was a teacher of young men at 
Princeton. Moreover, as a historian, he knew that reforms im- 
posed by violence turn to reactions. Hence Wilson and Lloyd 
George and Clemenceau patched up the great compromise. 
The treaty with Germany and the league of nations for the 
world, as they were offered on May 7th, were the result.* 

But the immediate consequences of an agreement be- 

>A. C. McGiSert, "Martin Luther mid His Work," Ch. XVII, gives an exceUent accountof tbii 
part of Luther's career. 

>New York Timei, April 19, 1919. The details of the treaty bearing upon boundariei, repa- 
ration, and plebiscites were being prepared by the so-called experts. 


tween Wilson and Clemenceau threatened disaster to 
the cause the President had nearest his heart. Orlando, 
sorely pressed at home, now demanded for Italy all that had 
been promised in the pact of London and Fiume besides. 
Wilson undertook to reply by his favourite method of open 
covenants openly arrived at. He drafted a very able and a 
very persuasive appeal to the people of Italy. It was of the 
very essence of democracy. No historian can ever condemn 
its spirit or tone or the wisdom of its publication. If open 
diplomacy ever had a strong case, it was in that of the Fiume 
appeal of the President. The reasonableness of it was said 
to be attested by the initials of Clemenceau and Lloyd George 
upon its margins. On April 23rd, when the Italian parliament 
was about to give voice to its will as both the French and 
British parliaments had done on April 16th, he gave the ad- 
dress to the newspapers. 

There was one great outcry that rose from every town and 
countryside of Italy. Men denounced this appeal to the 
people over the politicians' heads. Wilson only repeated 
what everybody had agreed to in the armistice; he pleaded 
for his fourteen points ; he besought the Italians and the world 
at the same time to try for once to apply the principle of 
simple justice.' But Italy replied in a rousing rejection of the 
proposition. Orlando returned, as Clemenceau and Lloyd 
George had just done, with the full endorsement of his 
coimtry.* The London Telegraph denounced the appeal to 
Italy as Wilsonian "brusqueness," the London Express said 
Wilson had only "waved a red flag at the Italians." Clem- 
enceau and Lloyd George denied, if not in their own words 
certainly in the words of their subordinates, that they knew 
anything of the President's "rash" purpose. On April 26th 

•The address will be found in The New York Timu of April U, 191S. 
'The Sonnino-Orlando ministry was a little later overthrown. 


Clemenceau telegraphed the former Italian Premier Luz- 
zatti that French secret promises were certainly not "scraps 
of paper." The telegram was made public. It was a chal- 
lenge to Wilson. And Clemenceau knew that he had worked 
three months to make a scrap of paper of the armistice. Nor 
did the Italians outside of Italy take a different view from the 
rampant nationalists at home. In Paris, in London, in New 
York and Chicago, rousing Italian meetings were held. They 
denounced Wilson. The American Italians cabled their an- 
ger hot across the Atlantic. Senator Lodge declared in 
a widely published address in Boston that Fiume belonged 
to Italy, and that the President had no business to meddle in 
the affairs of other nations,^ as if going to war had not been 
meddling in the affairs of others. 

Perceiviiig, like good diplomats, that the time was pro- 
pitious, the Japanese delegation now pressed its one great 
demand, abandoning all others, the control and economic 
exploitation of Shantung. England could not deny them; 
Had not England held for three quarters of a century 
similar sway over the Shanghai valley? Clemenceau could 
not deny his support, for France, too, had her hands upon the 
decrepit body of China. Italy Would support Japan; Japan 
would support Italy. Both would abandon the conference 
altogether if they did not get what they wished. The Re- 
publican party in the United States could not oppose Japan. 
Had not Mr. Roosevelt himself approved the seizure of Korea 
in July, 1907? And had not Mr. Knox, while Secretary of 
State in 1910, tacitly approved the same Japanese overlord- 
ship of Manchuria? Nor was the Democratic party very 
much concerned about the fate of Shantung. Having yielded 
at all, the President now yielded on Shantung. The whole 
thing nearly broke his heart, nothing more than the cruel 

>The New York Timet, AprU 87, 1910. 


demands of Japan. He tried to parry the fell blow at the 
sovereignty of a friendly and confiding power. Then he 
sought to exact from the Japanese a guarantee that the 
"lost province " would be restored on a given date. He failed 
in both. There is no denying that the fourteen points, that 
the terms of the armistice, were violated in the treaty about 
to be agreed upon. Wilson was "greatly saddened, knowing 
that public opinion was hardening against him at home."' 

But what else could he have done? Wilson knows history 
better than mo^t other statesmen have known history. And 
they who know history realize that to forgive a people that has 
committed a great wrong is wiser than to punish them. But 
the millions of disabled or war-worn men in the allied coun- 
tries, the score of millions whose kinsmen lay in the oozy 
ground of a hundred bloody fields, did not know history. 
They will never know history. Thiey could not forgive 
Germany or the Germans. Wisdom is not the part of such 
folk. Few men have been able to rise to the level of Abraham 
Lincoln, and Lincoln himself did not live to test his doctrine of 
love. Wilson yielded to force majeure, thinking wisely, if the 
writer may express the opinion, that mankind was after all 
neither democratic nor Christian. 

In the words of a Republican observer and witness to the 
events he describes the President had fought the good fight: 
"If ever an American statesman had tried in a valiant 
struggle for the ideals of his people, it was Woodrow Wilson at 
Paris in the spring of 1919. He had indeed faced the Beasts 
at Ephesus."^ Perhaps one ought to say "for the ideals of 
the great mass of inarticulate people in his country" although 
one may not be sure of this. At any rate, the work was done, 
and at the plenary session of the conference on April 28tb, 

■Wiffiam Allen White in The Saturiay Evmins Fait, August J6, 1919. 


the main features of the treaty were agreed upon and the cove- 
nant of the league of nations was duly incorporated. The 
next day Stephan Lauzanne spoke for articulate France when 
he said that four times Clemenceau had surrendered to Wil- 
son: 1, when Japan was denied the racial equality that all 
peoples should have; 2, when Belgium was denied the seat 
of the league of nations; 3, when France failed to get the 
Rhine frontier; and 4, when the European allies allowed Wil- 
son to amend the league of nations constitution in the spe- 
cific exemption of the Monroe Doctrine from the jurisdiction 
of the assembled nations. The Italians were equally dis- 
pleased. They had not been granted Fiume. Japan alone 
seemed to be satisfied. 

The German Government was asked to send a delega- 
tion to Versailles to receive the verdict. It was to be a great 
pageant. The very hall in which the German empire had 
been proclaimed was now to witness the undoing of the 
work of Bismarck. Clemenceau, never unconscious of the 
ruthlessness of 1871, was to announce the terms of the peace. 
Germany, ignoring the liberal stirrings of men every- 
where, appointed as the head of the delegation Herr Brock- 
dorff-Rantzau but recently an obedient and willing instru- 
ment of the imperial r6gime.i Herr Bosch, leading manu- 
facturer of poison gases, magnate of Mannheim but yester- 
day, was also a member of the commission! Economic and 
technical experts of every class composed the remainder of 
the forty-four leaders who went to Versailles. Two hxmdred 
others were attached to the commission. A special hotel was 
reserved for their use, and the people of the town and of the 
city of Paris were warned to keep away. Guards were kept 
about the delegation throughout their stay lest the still- 

>The New York Times, May 4, 1919, gives a list of the members of the German commission 
with a short sketch of their Uves. 


surging French wrath burst forth and mar the great oc- 

On May 7, 1919, the anniversary of the sinking of the 
Lusitania, Premier Clemenceau handed the Germans the 
text of the treaty. He said: "The time has come when we 
must settle our accounts. You have asked for peace. We 
are ready to give you peace. . . . Everything will be 
done with the courtesy that is the privilege of civilized na- 
tions. . . . It is the second treaty of Versailles. You 
may be sure we intend the treaty's guarantees to be sufficient. 
And you have two weeks to study it and make answer."^ 

Brockdorfl-Rantzau replied:" We know that the power of 
the German army is broken. We know the power of the 
hatred which we encounter here. ... I do not wish to 
answer reproach with reproach; but if wrongs were committed 
in the heat of battle, who is responsible for the deaths of 
hundreds of thousands since the armistice.''" 'It was the 
language of unassuaged anger and passion on both sides. 
Both speakers still thought in terms of military power. How 
much more effective would the German case have been, had 
some German democrat, like Foerster of Munich, who had 
suffered under the heavy hand of the Kaiser, made reply to 
the French? He could have disclaimed for the new Govern- 
ment all responsibility for the war, could have said, as Thiers 
said in 1871 : "We had no part with Napoleon III; we do not de- 
fend what has been done in the name of our country." An ill 
fortune decreed it otherwise. The treaty and the league were 
then put out and received, in so far as the German people were 
concerned, in the spirit of an age that men hoped had passed. 

^The New York Time»t May 8, 19X9. Coleman PhiUipson. "Termination of War and Trea- 
ties of Peace/' New York, 1916, pp. 380-391, gives Franco-Prussian treaties of 1371. One may 
see here the model on which Clemenceau would have shaped the treaties of 1919. The author 
is under obligations to bis friend Henry Milton Wolf of Chicago for calling his attention to 
this important work. 


The settlement, as Clemenceau called it, compelled Ger- 
many to accept responsibility for the war/ restore Alsace- 
Lorraine, agree to international control of the Saar coal fields 
for fifteen years, yield Danzig indefinitely to the needs of 
restored Poland under international supervision, cede ter- 
ritory to Belgium, Denmark, Poland, and renounce all claims 
to territory outside Europe in favour of the league of nations. 
She must agree to recognize and later, if she joined the league 
of nations, guarantee the independence of Poland, Czecho- 
slovakia, and German Austria. In internal affairs she must 
abolish military conscription, reduce her army to 100,000 
men, destroy, and promise never to rebuild, her fotmer 
fortresses on the eastern side of the Rhine, and agree to cease 
the manufacture, importation, and exportation of the mate- 
ria-1 of war. In order that these conditions be carried into 
effect Germany must agree that the allied governments 
might occupy, at German cost, the bridgeheads of the Rhine 
until the terms were met. The German navy had already 
been surrendered to Great Britain, as custodian for the allied 
governments. But the navy of Germany upon which so 
much enthusiasm had been lavished since the accession of 
William II was never in the future to consist of more than 
six battleships, six light cruisers, and twelve torpedo boats. 
There were to be no more submarines. The Kiel Canal was 
ordered to be opened on equal terms to all nations, as are 
the Panama and Suez canals. 

Germany must pay 20,000,000,000 marks* damages at 
once and agree to pay all actual civilian damages done by her 
armies during the war, as assessed by international commis- 
sions set up for the purpose. She must restore to Britain and 
the other allied peoples the shipping, ton for ton, which she 

•The text oE the treaty will be found in The Conereinonal Record, 86th Congress, Ist 
Session, pp. 83S-88S. 


had sunk or destroyed; she must give all the allied nations . 
the so-called "favoured-nation" commercial advantages, as j 
these had existed in 1914, and allow railway and canal transit j 
through her territories to the allied and associated peoples. \ 
The Kaiser was to be extradited from Holland, where he then 
dwelt in exile, and be delivered by Oermkny to an allied 
tribunal for trial. Many millions of tons of coal were to be 
delivered each year to Belgium and France in return for the 
coal that had been taken during the war. Machinery taken 
or destroyed during the conflict and forced loans exacted 
from allied populations and banks were to be restored. Cattle 
and horses seized and carried away must likewise be returned 
or paid for. And there were to be a score of international 
commissions, set up by the allied powers undei* the auspices 
of the league of nations, whose business it should be to assess 
damages and enforce all these decrees. There were also to 
be plebiscites of the peoples involved in the transfer of ter- 
ritory from Germany to Denmark and Poland. Germany 
was not to interfere with these nor to protest, when, in con- 
sequence, Danes and Poles, long accustomed to acknowledge 
German sovereignty, changed their citizenship. These are 
hard terms. No other nation in modem times was ever 
compelled to submit to terms so drastic and far-reaching. It 
would take fifty years of toil and industry to lift the burden 
of debt incurred and, of course, most Germans would inevi- 
tably regard their burdens as grievous and unjust. Few 
penalties have ever been welcome to those that bore them. 
President Ebert and the other German leaders declared that 
Wilson had betrayed Germany. Philip Scheidemann said: 
"President Wilson is a hypocrite and the Versailles treaty is 
the vilest crime in history."^ Germans in the United States 
took the same view. The editor of The Nation called the 

Tb lAlwary Digat, May H, 1919. 


treaty "the madness of Versailles." Of Wilson he said: 
"The peoples of the world see revealed, not a friend faithful 
to the last, but an arrogant autocrat and a compromising 
politician. "^ 

The editors of the New Republic condemned especially the 
economic features of the treaty. The Dial lamented that 
the abandonment of the fourteen points was the price which 
Wilson paid for the league of nations; while one of the or- 
gans of the Non-Partisan League of the Northwest declared: 
"Wilson went to Europe the idol of all its common people. 
He returns literally without friends."^ The press of neutral 
countries, particularly those papers that had found excuses 
for the invasion of Belgium at the beginning of the war, 
expressed the same bitter feelings. Russian soviet opinion 
was of course contemptuous, and both British and French 
labour leaders indicated their deep and sincere disappoint- 
ment that Wilson had not been able to inaugurate a new 
era. They did not, like radical groups in the United States, 
denounce the President.' Wilson himself expressed bitter 
disappointment in an address before the Paris Political 
Science Association. He declared with evident sorrow that 
mankind seemed not to be ready for the new day. His hope 
was in the league of nations. When the passions and the 
vindictiveness of Europe had calmed, he believed that the 
covenant of the league of nations would be used to correct 
the harsh and irritating parts of the treaty. Under the 
league future generations would function and slowly build 
an international organization that would make an end of 

'The Nation, May 17, 1919. 

'Literary Digest, May 31, 1919. 

*Witli the exception perhaps of Mr. Austin Harrison of London. 

,*This view seems to the writer to be in accordance with the experience of men in the past. 


It was a noble thought; and none will deny that Wilson 
all but gave his life for it. His abiding and unfaltering faith 
in it was one of the causes of the French persistence in the 
fight upon his fourteen points. What was the league? A 
loose association of sovereign states that was not to infringe 
upon the absolute independence of any member. It was to 
include every nation, although for the moment Germany, 
Austria, Hungary, and Soviet Russia were not to be members. 
For a hundred and fifty years the idea of national unity and 
perfect national sovereignty had been perhaps the most im- 
portant social force in Western civilization. For it Lincoln 
had waged a terrible war and given his own life. For it 
Bismarck and Cavour had wrought like modern Titans, like 
Jesuits who justified any means, so the end was desirable. 
Now, when nationalism was in its full flower, WJlsOJiSSLabQut 
u ndermining that perfect stru cture rearpd, nppn fniipdatimTs_ 
that hail cost so much blood and, tears andJieasure. And 
the logic ^Thistory and events compelled him to do so. He ' 
would, in the very phraseology of the Fathers of the American 
Union, set up a confederation. It was to have no powers of 
taxation, but it might ask the various member states to con- 
tribute to its necessary work. It was to have no direct 
jurisdiction over individuals, but it was to prescribe rules, 
hours, and conditions of labour. It was to set up no armies or 
navies, but it was to supervise the armaments of all member 
peoples. Its business was to arbitrate the diflFerences among 
states, to reason with peoples that were wrought upon by 
politicians to make war, and to set limits to the exploitations of 
capitalists in order that men might be saved from the calamity 
of another great war. It was to suggest and enforce by 
moral pressure that very deliberation which the hot-tempered 
leaders of Germany would not permit in the summer of 1914. 
Moreover, it was to guide the fortunes of weak or backward 


peoples, like the folk who inhabit Africa or bring piibber out 
of the forests of Brazil, and prevent cruel economicyoppression, 
as well as the hitherto common practice of egging barbarous 
peoples to war upon each other for the benefit of superior races. ^ 
These influences, the international conferences, and the 
moral forces were to emanate from the ancieni city of Geneva. 
It was historically fitting that the city of John Calyin should 
be the capital of the league of nations. There a permanent 
secretariat should have charge of clerical and notarial affairs 
of the league. There the assembly of the world federation 
was to meet from time to time and discuss the common con- 
cerns of mankind. Each state was to have one vote, and 
resolutions of the body were to be carried before a smaller 
council for final action. The council should be composed of 
representatives of five great powers at first, later of nine; 
that is, Germany, Russia, Hungary, and Austria were ex- 
ppcted to take their places in the central world body after a 
short period of probation. Voting would be by states and an 
important resolution, to become effective, must pass unani- 
mously except for the] opposition of a state whose conduct 
was under consideration. And any state not represented in 
this executive council should have the right to be heard on 
any matters vital to its people. All states were to agree to 
submit their cases to this body for arbitration and each one 
was also to agree to arbitrate disputes according to the verdict 
of the council or, in cases where this was not thought to be 
possible, wait six months before resorting to any warlike 
measures. Finally, if war should occur, contrary to the votes 
and good offices of the council, the people initiating such a 
war was to be boycotted by all the other states of the world. 
Moreover, no nation was to negotiate any agreements or 

'The treaty and the league covenant will be found in The Conereammal Recari, 66th Con- 
gress, lit Session, 83S-889. 


treaties but upon presentation, registration, and publication 
with the league council. And it must not be forgotten, that 
every state that entered the league should recognize and de- 
fend the boundaries and assist to keep the peace of the world, 
as arranged in the treaty. The league was to be a stabilizer 
of the world. But where grievances and_ unjust boundaries 
were set up in the treaty there was a remedy. China might 
protest before it the continued holding by Japan of the Shan- 
tung proA^nce, and the council must hear and decide its pro- 
test. Hungary might complain at the conduct of Roumania , 
or Germany at the pretensions of Poland, and both would 
get a hearing and doubtless get relief. 

It was not an outlawry of war as so many idealists who had 
followed Wilson to Paris wished, as almost every German 
and Irish leader in the United States contended that it 
must be. To ask that was to defeat the league idea. But 
no historian, not bound by nationahstic or racial prejudices, 
no thoughtful man, save those who have no faith at all in the 
efforts of common men, will deny that it was a noble plan, 
well framed and admirably calculated to effect the utmost 
that mankind would support. It was worthy of the Presi- 
dent of the United States and worthy of men like James 
Bryce and John Morley who, in their old age, endeavoured to 
crown their long and useful lives with an act that should bless 
mankind for all time. To secure the adoption of this tenta- 
tive agreement by all the powers represented at Paris Wilson 
had yielded to terms in the treaty with Germany that were 
regarded by him as unwise; he had yielded to certain obvious 
violations of his fourteen points; he had even permitted the 
dangerous guarantee of Shantung to Japan.^ 

From the very day that Wilson landed in France, the 
European diplomats and most of their responsible leaders had 

>Xke Freaident binueU said a»much od his Western tour. 


distrusted the idea of such a league or any league. Clemen- 
ceau, as the apostle of the real, jeered it. Practical British- 
ers and imperialistic Italians had said they would accept the 
league, if first they received the good things which allied 
victory put within the power of the conference to grant them. 
And from the fateful day of the congressional elections in 
November, responsible leaders of the Republican party, aided 
by political opponents of the President in the Democratic 
ranks, had declared that the Wilson ideal was wrong, that 
the league would violate all the teachings of the Fathers, and 
that its adoption would be the beginning of the end of the Re- 
public. These were hereditary foes of the Administration, 
those older social forces in the North who could never think 
that the agrarian and provincial elements of the country 
ought ever again to aspire to control. They also represented 
a large, purely business element of the nation that wished, 
above all, to have no central world-power pass upon economic 
barriers, the reasonableness of tariffs, or limitations upon 
commercial exploitations. They feared England purely upon 
a commercial basis. 

These men and forces Wilson had been compelled to 
reckon with in the matter of the Monroe Doctrine and in 
the more important problem of an ultimate world free 
trade. Their influence had compelled him to ask that 
peculiar amendment to the first league covenant the ask- 
ing of which gave Clemenceau his first real victory over the 
President. Under the leadership of alert, able, and inveter- 
ately hostile men, other groups of the United States were glad 
to range themselves without asking questions of their new 
allies. Before the Germans submitted the treaty and the 
league to their government, the lines were already drawn for 
the last great struggle. The Senate would be the arena, as it 
had been so often before in the history of the United States. 


The people would be the witnesses, the jury in a certain sense, 
although it was too late to hope it was without prejudice in 
the case. 

After weeks of argument and some minor amendments 
the German commissioners signed the treaty including the 
league of nations covenant. It was on June 28, 1919. Wil- 
son had called Congress in extra session; he now hurried home 
to render account of his mission and to urge the country to 
hasten a decision in order that the whole world, torn by 
nearly five years of unprecedented war, might have peace. 
He laid the work of the Peace Conference before the Senate on 
July 10th, and announced that he was ready to appear before 
the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations at any time to ex- 
plain the treaty. There were other and pressing problems 
before the nation, as pressing as problems could well be. The 
railway situation was almost menacing; the state of things 
in the soft coal fields foretold a nation-wide strike of the 
workers; and in Mexico there were still the difficulties and 
temptations that had confronted him in 1913. Wilson had 
laid down his real task when he went to war with Germany;' 
he had been compelled to try his philosophy and his ideals 
upon a warring world; and now he came back to Washington 
to find himself bitterly opposed by the forces in modern life 
that had fought him at every step in Paris. If anything was 
clear to thoughtful men, it was the fact that industrial civil- 
ization knew no national boundaries except for its own pur- 
poses, and that any leader of the United States who endeav- 
oured to make the world a little more democratic must fight 
great industry at every turn and everywhere. Wilson had 
changed only the geography of his fight, nothing more. But 
his work in Paris was fairly before the Senate and the country. 
It remained to be seen whether common men could be made 
to understand the issue. 


Wh£(,tever the outcome, Wilson's work since that March 
day when he entered the White House has been marvellous. 
Never robust in health, he entered office already overworked. 
But he spared not himself, challenged Congress and all public 
officials to keep his pace, and quickly stirred the whole 
country to new conceptions of public duty. The tone of 
public life was lifted to a high plane. What he said and did in 
those exciting and sometimes awful years must ever remain a 
heritage of the people. Unless Democracy itself should fail, 
he will be read and quoted hundreds of years from now, as 
Jefferson and Lincoln are read and quoted now. It is surely 
a record unsurpassed; and the fame of the man who now lies 
ill in the White House can never be forgotten, the ideals he 
has set and the movement he has pressed so long and so 
ably can not fail. It is a compelling, almost a tragic, stoiy. 




A. B. C. powers, 129; on Mexican 
problem, 147-48. 

Adams, Henry, 68; "The Education 
of," ISS; "History of the United 
States." 171. 

Adams, Professor Herbert B., 20, 26. 

Adamson Law, 164, 189, 190. 

Adjer, Dr. John B., 9, 14. 

Air-craft service, 238. 

Aldrich, Senator Nelson B., 77; on 
banking, 140. 

Alexanders, The, 14 

Alsace-Lorraine, 203, 204, 301, 303, 
317, 346. 

Armistice, 272, 279; released political 
truce in United States, 299; scrap 
of paper, 342. 

Army, United States, 178-79, 279; 
Bill, 236; British, 204; Regular, 

Austria, aggressive policy in Bal- 
kans, 204; autonomy, 277; Ger- 
man, 346; great guns made, 202; 
oppressed Serbia, ISO. 

Axson, Ellen, 19; Wilson married, 22. 

Axson, Stockton, 25. 

Bagehot, Walter, 30. 

Bailey, Joseph W., 96-98. 

Baker, Newton D., 126, 179, 222, 

Baker, Ray Stannard, 280. 
Balance of trade, 298. 
Balfour, Arthur, 233, 328. 
Balkan States, Germany's plan 

for, 203. 
Ballin, Herr, of Hamburg, 152 
Bankhead, Senator, of Bahama, 97. 
Barnes, Senator, 101. , 

Barnwell, Professor Charles Hay- 
ward, 10, 11. 

Beecher, Henry Ward, 108. 

Belgium, battles, 206; invaded, 149, 
150; territory ceded to, 346. 

Bethmann-Hollweg, 216. 

Bernstorff, Johann von, 151, 165, 

Bismarck, 16, 178, 344, 349. 

Blacklisting, campaign against, 172. 

Bliss, General, 285. 

Blockade, British of Central Powers, 
157; barred trade with neutrals, 
172, 214; German propaganda 
against, 173, German submarine, 
of Britain, 174. 

Bolshevism, 225. 

Bolshevist government, 311, 335. 

Bones, Helen, 25. 

Bones, James, 5. 

Borah, Senator, 264. 

Bosch, Herr, 344. 

Boss, power of, 110. 

Bourgeois, Leon, 316. 

Breckenridge, Robert, 13. 

Brest-Litovsk, 236, 242. 

Brewers, in German propaganda, 

Bright, John, 17. 

British, army and navy, 204; con- 
stitution, 30; debt, 305; elections, 
305; Labour party, 293; Liberal- 
ism, 31, 83, 320; public affairs 
studied by Wilson, 20; surprise at 
New York's attitude, 290. 

Brockdorff-Rantzau, Herr, 344. 

Brooks, Sidney, 124. 

Brotherhoods of American Railway 
Men, 163. 



Brown, Ex-governor ot Georgia, 97. 

Brusiloff, General Alexei, 205, 206. 

Bryan, William Jennings, "Boy 
Orator," 71, canvassed West for 
Wilson, 190; entered presidential 
race, 67; first battle, 73; House 
and Daniels friends of, 97; ideal- 
istic Democratic party supported 
by, 114; League constitution 
amendment, 332; opposed military 
service, 179; revived touring 
method, 71; scheme of universal 
arbitration, 133; second defeat, 
75, 79; Secretary of State, 124- 
25; resigned, 125; silver principles, 
70; single-term presidency, 170; 
third defeat, 84; Wilson voted 
for, 33. 

Bryce, James, 26-27. 52, 117. 351. 

Bryn Mawr College, 24. 

Buchanan, Frank, 173. 

Bulgaria, joined Germans, 207. 

Bullitt, William C, 335. 

Burke, Edmund, 30. 

Burleson, Albert S., 125. 

Burr. Aaron, Sr., 43 

Business, big, influence of, 108, 122, 
144; in danger, 130; Hughes and, 
185; imperialistic policy of 1893, 
132; opinion on Germany. 153; 
opposed League of Nations. 352; 
opposed Wilson, 193. 

Cabinet, appointed, 125-26; backed 
President, 136, 181; Munitions, 

Caillaux, Joseph, 301. 

Cameron, Don, 24, 66. 

Campaign, of 1915, 179, 191; Con- 
gressional, of 1918, 261, 270; 
slogan, 183. 

Canada, 151. 

Cannon, Joseph G., 77. 

Capitalism, and Colonel Harvey, 
74; and Labour, 307; Lenine's 
message on, 236-37; problem of, 

Carnegie, Andrew, 49. 

Carnoiza, Victoriana, 146, 166. 

Cartel.German system, 198. 

Carson, Sir Edward, 305. 

Catholic Church. 17, 109-10, 235; 
in Mexico, 115. 

Cavell. Edith, 211. 

Cavour. 349. 

Cecil. Lord Robert. 316. 330 

Central Powers, 277. 286, 306. 

Chamberlain, Senator George E., 

Child labour laws, 36, 69, 113, 189, 

China, 342 

Chinese, loan, 131; Republic recog- 
nized, 135. 

Civil Service, 69, 181. 

Civil war, 11; no nation till after, 
27; effect of slavery on Presby- 
terian Church, 9; reconstruction 
after, 60, 61. 

Clapp, Senator, 217 

Clark, Champ, 95, 97, 99. 102. 221. 

Clayton Anti-trust Law, 161; ex- 
empted strikes from Federal in- 
junction. 163. 

Clemenceau, Georges, 274, 291, 293, 
300-302, 311, 340. 

Cleveland episode, 129. 

Cleveland. Grover, 31, 32, 67, 70, 
81. 124, 270. 

Coffb. Howard. 238. 

Cohalan. Justice, 323. 

Colby, Bainbridge, 190. 271. 

Congress, approval of, 245; Demo- 
cratic in 1913, 136; industrial dis- 
tricts represented in, 64; influence 
of bankers in, 67; methods of, 30, 
30, 32. 35; parties in, 75; and 
President. 119, 248; refused ma- 
chinery to deal with strikes, 164; 
resisted shipping bill, 160; War, 

Conkling, Roscoe, 66, 67. 

Conservative elements. 112. 

Constitution, Federal. 36, 66, 80; 
guaranteed freedom of press. 111; 
violated, 224; Wilson and, 120. 

Conventions ; Baltimore, Wilson'ssup- 
port at, 98; events told by Arthur 



Howden Smith, 98; developments 
of, 102; Chicago, Republican Con- 
vention 6f 1912, 100; control of 
Democratic, 182; in St. Louis, 
183; "steam roller" of 1912, 185; 
deadlock of Bepublican, 185; in- 
fluence of German-American Al- 
liance in Republican, 192. 

Corporations, power of, 106. 

Corrupt practices bill in New Jersey, 

Council of National Defence, 196, 

Courts, American, 35, 36, 66, 71. 

Crane, Senator, 78, 101, 110. 

Creel, George B., 223, 252. 

Croker, Ridiard, 88. 

Curtis, George William, 31, 33, 69. 

Czecho-SlovaJda. 277-^8. 

Daniels, Josephus, 97, 99; Secretary 
of the Navy, 125, 238; in Wilson 
campaign, 190. 

Daniels, Brofessor W. M., 67. 

D'Annimzio, 319. 

Dardanelles, British expedition, 207. 

Davidson College, N. C, 12, 14. 

Davies, Samuel, 13, 43. 

Daviess, Joseph, 272. 

Davis, Jefferson, 11. 

Daylight saving, 159. 

Debating societies, 15, 17. 

Debs, Eugene V., 224. 

Decadent nations, France and Eng- 
land thought to be by scholars, 

Delbrueck law of 1913, 157. 

Democracy, autocracy versus, 207; 
creed of new republic, 315; 
economic and political, 31; making 
world safe for, 222, 300; new, 32; 
object of Constitution to thwart, 
36; in Paris conference, 339; at 
Princeton, 52, 58; in world affairs. 

Democratic party, 31, 32; advertised 
prosperity, 192; in Baltimore, 98- 
102; Bryan's hold weakened, 75, 
76; in Cabinet, 124; free ^Iver 

platform, 71; influences shaping 
policy of, 90; machinery demoral- 
ized in Greeley campaign, 68; 
organized on money question, 70; 
platform of 1916, 183; position 
difScult, 112; reactionary wings, 
97; represents South, 270; sec- 
tionalism of, 62; in South and West 
with Wilson, 182; supported Wil- 
son measures, 196; in West, 114; 
Wilson's weapon, 123; won by 
division of Republicans, 79. 

Democratization of imiversities, Wil- 
son's letter to author on, 60; social 
clubs abolished, 83. 

Denmark, 346. 

Dent, Representative, refused to 
introduce military bill, 221. 

Dernburg, Dr. Beri&ard, 151. 

Derry, Rofessor John T., 10. 

DeutscUand, sent to American 
coast, 192. 

Dewey, Davis, R., 20. 

Diaz, Porfirio, 115. 

Dodd,_ Professor W. E., of demo- 
cratization in Wilson's letter to, 
60; on the South, 6; War Depart- 
ment on military service, 177. 

Dodge, Cleveland H., 47, 49. 

Dodge, Kern, 269. 

Dunne forces in Illinois, 272. • 

East, Congress displayed sentiment 
of, 253; objected to peace without 
victory, 214; machines of 113; 
wealth of, 229; see New York. 

Ebert, President, 315, 347. 

Economic affairs of world in hand 
of bankers, 168; imperialism, 116; 
power, 121; and social order, 11; 
stake of Europe in war, 303. 

Edmunds, George F., 282. 

Edwards, Jonathan, 37, 48. 

Egan, Maurice F., 130. 

Election, British, 305; of 1916, 170; 
map of the, of 1896, 74 ; map of the, 
of 1912, 104; map of the, of 1916, 
194; reform in New Jersey, 91. 

Elkins, Stephens., 67 



El Paso, conference at, 167. 

Embargo, on sale of arms lifted, 
146, German propaganda for, 

Employers' liability, 91. 

England, believed decadent by 
scholars, 152: established blockade 
of Central Powers, 157; men in 
France, 259; "never to be for- 
given," 204. 

Espionage Act, 223. 

Farm Loan Act, 161. 
Farrell, James A., 199. 
Federal Farm, Loan Board, 161. 
Federal Reserve Banking law, 140- 

41; system described, 142. 
Federal Trade Board, 142. 
Filibuster, defeat of war measures 

by, 217, 219. 
Financial policy of the United 

States, 61. 
Fiume, 338, 341. 
Flood Report of 1912, 196. 
Foch, General, 317. 
Food: Administration control, 226- 

26; dictator in Germany, 202; 

shortage, appeal to farmers on, 225. 
Ford, Henry, 272. 
Ford, Henry Jones, 90. 
Foreign-bom, map showing dis- 
tribution of, 63. 
Foreign commerce, 298; in Latin 

America and the Far East, 133; 

policy ready for reform, 130, 131; 

augmented by war, 158; under 

Webb law, 200. 
Foreign countries, debt of, 298. 
France, condition of, after the war, 

803; German objective, 208, 219; 

stood for old balance of power, 294. 
Francis, David R., 96. 
Free trade, world, 260, 285, 309. 
Freedom of seas, 309. 
"Fourteen points," 245, 250, 266, 

267, 27% 276, 277, 283-84, 292, 

294, 306, 307, 316, 328, 334, 338, 

341, 343, 348. 
Gallinger, Senator,[266. 

Gait, Mrs. Edith Boiling, 168. 

Garfield, James A., 67. 

Garrison, Secretary, 125-26, 178. 

Gary, Judge, of New York, 184. 

Geneva, capital of League of Na- 
tions, 359. 

Gerard, James W., 129, 176, 211-12, 

German campaign in Poland, 206; 
colonial possessions, 313; General 
Staff, and God, 207j influences in 
Missouri, 217; military system, 
153, 154, 216; propaganda, 161, 
156, 172-73, 203, 321; resources 
controlled by General Staff, 

German-Swedish elements of North- 
west, 218. 

German-American Alliance, 192. 

German-American, 151-57, 172-73; 
defended submarine war, 175. 

Germany: called upon Pope to ap- 
peal for peace, 235; declared war 
on Russia, 149; did not sign 
treaties, 134; mistress of Real- 
polUik, 251; plans of, 151-62, 
172, 231; richest Continental na- 
tion, 202; sent peace message to 
Wilson, 211; surprised not to win 
war, 201. 

Gilder, Richard Watson, 81, 82. 

Gillett, Speaker, 275. 

Gihnan, Daniel Coit, 21. 

Giolotti, German influence in Italy, 

Gladden, Dr. Washington, 108. 

Gladstone, William E., ideal states- 
man, 13, 17, 27. 

Glass, Carter, 140; estimate of war 
cost, 227. 

Golden Rule, 136, 246, 334. 

Gompers, Samuel, 159; aid of, 217; 
friendship of, 272; opposed Wil- 
son's bills, 196. 

Gorman, Arthur P., 73. 

Government, burden of, 75; coali- 
tion, planned, 260-64; "Congres- 
sional," study on, 21; income de- 
clined, 161; investigations of 1912 



and 1913, 106; limitations of 
powers, 32; machinery of, 66; 
Newtonian system of, 35; opposi- 
tion to practice and policy, 19; 
power to control labour, 166; 
scrutiny of, 17; imdergronnd, 88. 

Grand Fleet, 322. 

Gray, George, 167. 

Hadley, President, of Yale, 41. 

Hague Conference Second, in 1907, 

Haig, General, 209. 

Hanna, Daniel, 78. 

Hanna, Mark, 64, 66, 72. 

Harmon, Governor, 95, 99, 124. 

Harper, G. M., "Addresses of Wood- 
row Wilson." 128, 136. 

Harper, James H., 81. 

Hai^>er, President William Rainey. 
47, 81. 

Earner's Weekly, 81, 94, 100. 

Harriman, Edward H., 76. 

Hart, J. S., 14. 

Harvey, Colonel George, 81-89, 
93; on "Fourteen points," 246; 
worked for Clark, 99. 

Hay, John, 71. 

Hay-Pauncefote Treaty, 134. 

Hearst, William Randolph, 173; 
papers opponents of Wilson, 175; 
Republican aid, 192; friendly to 
Wilson, 293. 

Henderson, Arthur, 305. 

Heney, Francis. J., 190. 271. 

Henry, Professor Joseph, physicist, 
14, 43. 

Hill, David B., 73. 

Hjll, General D. H.. 12. 

Hindenburg, General von, 160; book 
about, 204; drive into Russian 
Poland, 206; hero of Tannenberg 
battle, 205; line, 217; retreat on 
Somme, 222. 

Historical thought, 28; research in, 
86, 38; sectionalism, school of, 
62; History, American. 27; in- 
fluence of Wilson and of Turner 
on writing, 28. 

Hitchcock, Senator, 258. 

Hodge, Dr. Charles, 14. 

Hohenzollem, dynasty, 216; ended, 

HoUisi Henry, 271. 

Hook, Judge, of United States Court 
of Kansas City, 166. 

Hoover, Herbert C, 226, 262. 

House, Colonel Edward M., 97. 98; 
at Peace Conference, 285, 288, 
333; sent to Germany, 149; in Wil- 
son campaign, 190. 

House of Representatives, chosen, 

Houston, 126. 

Huerta, General, 116, 132. 

Hughes, Justice Charles E., cam- 
paign of, 112; nomination of, 186, 
187; report of, 238; in West, 188- 
89; won hostility of Johnson, 189; 
defeated, 193. 

Hughes, Premier of Australia, 314. 

Hungary, invasion of, 206, 216; 
Roumania and, 209. 

Huntington, Collis P., 67. 

Hutton, Lawrence, 81. 

Immigrants, 600,000 per year, 109. 

Industrial America, 66; belt, 67; 
and financial influences, 75; out- 
put in 1917, 168; prosperity de- 
pendent upon foreigners, 109; 
Wilson's problem, 130. 

Industrialism, 116-17; problem of. 
136, 200. 

Income Tax law, 71, 137, changed, 
162; new, 190. 

Inglis, William, 82, 89, 94. 

Injunctions, against labour move- 
ments, 163-64. 

Interlocking directorates, abolished, 

International system, 130; new, 267. 

Interstate Commerce Commission, 
143, 164. 

Ishii-Lansing Agreement, 244. 

Italy, 204; fall of, threatened, 242; 
Wilson in, 296; Wilson's appeal to 
people, 341. 



Irish, 75; influence of, 217; opinion 
of Wilson of, 293; opposition, 322; 
I. W. W., 229. 

Jameson, James Franklin, 20. 

Japan, attitude of, 311; rights of, 
133, Siberia and, 236, threats of, 
243, 244. 

Joffre, General, 233. 

Johns Hopkins University, 20. 

Johnson, Alba H., 199. 

Johnson, Governor Hiram, of Cali- 
fornia, 133; enemy of Hughes, 
189; regular in 1918, 211. 

Johnson, Senator, 325. 

Joline, Adrian H., 51, 57. 

Jones bills of 1911-12, 117. 

Jones, David B., 49. 

Jugo-SIavs, 278. 

Kahn, Julius, 260. 

Kaiser Wilhelm, of Germany, 107, 
176, 212, 347. 

Kelley, W. D., "Pig Iron," cham- 
pion of industrial system, 64. 

Eerensky, Alexander, 233, 234. 

Kiel Canal. 346. 

Kitehin, Claude, 163, 179, 189, 197, 
221, 228. 

Kluck, General von, delayed at 
lAhge, 149. 

Knox, Senator, 324, 342. 

Krupp works, 202. 

Kuhnemann, Professor, 151. 

Labour, organizations, 76; British, 

306; demand for, 158; importance 

of, 159. 
La Follette, Senator, 78; filibusterer, 

217; in Senate, 275; supporter 

of German cause, 184. 
Land, need of, 204-205. 
Lane, Franklin K., 125, 167. 
Landsdowne, Lord, 265, 306. 
Lansing, Robert, 126, 285, 334. 
Lauzanne, Stephan, 331, 344. 
Law, Bonar, 305. 

Law, International, 167; Wilson 
studied, 18, 20; learned from in- 
dustrial masters, 68. 

Laws, Federal and state, 36. 

Leadership of Wilson, 31, 36; belief 
about, 93; cause of efficiency of 
war, 220-21, 229; of experts, 288; 
moral, 300; political, 66. 

League of Nations, 247, 310, 314; 
agreement on, 320; constitution 
of, 316; deadlock, 831, 335; and 
international debt, 321; Irish and 
Germans on, 322; neutrals on, 
334; outline of idea, 317; powers of 
347, 349; Senate opposition to, 
324; separation of treaty from 
League, 328; and Treaty, 328- 

Lee, Robert E., 11. 

Lenine, government, 311, 335; and 
Trotsky, 237. 

Lewis, Senator J. H., 272. 

Liberty motors, 238. 

Liebknecht, Karl, 201. 

Lind, John, 132. 

Lissauer's Hassengesang, 204. 

Lloyd, George, 208, 274, 311, 330, 

Loans, War, direct from people, 
266; to other countries, 115, 131, 

Lodge, Senator Henry Cabot, 78, 
101, 185, 294, 323, 325, 342. 

London, world's banker before the 
war, 306. 

Longworth, Representative, 262, 

Lusitania sunk, 175, 208; anniver- 
sary, 345. 

Luther, Martin, 340. 

Luzatti, Italian Premier, 341. 

McAdoo, Secretary W. G., 125, 140t 

227, 228, 240. 
McCombs, William F., 103. 
McCormick, Cyrus, 47, 49. 
McCormick, MediU, 254. 
McCormick, Vance, 190. 
McCosh, Dr. James, 14, 43. 



Ma<iines, party, 36. 71, 76, 84, 88. 
96, 97, 113. 159. 

Mackensen, von. 206, 207; in 
Bucharest, 210. 

McKelway, St. Clair, 83. 

McKinley, William, 72; elected. 73; 
last address, 118. 

Madero, Francisco, 116. 

Madison, James, 14. 

Malvy, 301. 

Manufacturing, map showing in- 
come from, 65. 

Mame, battle of, ISO. 

Martin, Senator, of Virginia, 97, 

Marshall, John, 121. 

Masaryk, President, 277. 

Mathews, Shailer, 108. 

Maximilian, Prince, 272. 

"Merwick," 64. 

Mesopotamia, colonial empire of 
Germany, 203. 

Metropolitan Magasine, anti-german, 

Mexico, 115; A. B. C. powers on, 
147; feeling toward United States 
in 1913, 129; information on, 116; 
relations with, 131, 165; Tampico 
incident, 146-47; Vera Cruz seized, 

Meyer, Edward, 151. 

Military bill, 198; conscription, 222, 
346; propaganda, 177; service, 
196, 260. 

Mai, John Stuart, 30. 

Minor, John, 17. 

Monroe Doctrine, interpretation in 
1823, 115-18; offensive to Latin 
neighboiu:s,J 128-29; Wilson's pol- 
icy under, 131; German respect 
for, 161; and "Fourteen points," 
313; amendment to League ex- 
empting, 332, 344. 

Morgan, J. P., 67; in 1896. 141; 
powerful as Kaiser, 107. 

Morgenthau, Henry, 130. 

Morley, John, 62, 351. 

Morton, J. Sterling, 70. 

Mott, John R., 167. 

Murdock, Victor, 184, 271. 

Murphy, boss of New York City, 

Munition, Cabinet, 260-62; embargo 
lifted, 146; exported to France, 
168; German propaganda for 
embargo, 173; making, in Berlin 
and Chemnitz districts, 202; taxes 
on, 162. 

Nagel, Charles, 173. 

Namur, 149. 

National Guard, 166, 179. 

National Security League, 179. 

Naumann, Friedrich. "Mittel- 
europa," 202. 

Navy, United States, 178, 239; 
German, surrendered, 346. 

Negroes, 64; problem of, in Chicago, 

Nelson, Senator, 264. 

Neutral countries, rights of, 157; on 
League, 334. 

Neutrality of United States, 150, 
167, 171, 176, 211. 

New Jersey, College of, address at, 
39; early history of, 42, 43. 

New York banks, 141, 158. 

New York City, banker of United 
States, 67, 75; of world, 306; con- 
trolled credit, 106; "enemy's 
coimtry," 71; loan to China, 116. 

North, burden of taxes on, 163; com- 
plex, 109; drift of, away from 
democracy, 155; Hughes repre- 
sented, 187; industrial region, 110; 
for military service, 177; position 
of Democrats difficult, 112; Re- 
publicans, 269; wealth of, 229. 

North American Revimo, 81. 

North, Director, removed from Cen- 
sus Bureau, 181. 

Northcliffe, Lord, 317. 

Nugent, James R., 88, 91, 92. 

O'Gorman, Tammany influence 

through, 217. 
Oliver, Senator, 78. 



O'Kelley John T., 333. 
Okuma, Count, of Japan, 243. 
Omaha World Herald, 70. 
Odando, Premier, 308, 316, 318, 

319, 341. 
Overman, Senator, 363. 

Page, Walter H., 39, 129-30. 

Palmer Benjamin Morgan, preached 
remarkable sermon of American 
history, 9; "Life and Letters of," 

Panama Canal, 117-18; tolls re- 
pealed, 134. 

Pan-Germans, 278. 

Pan-Germany, map of, after Nau- 
mann, 203. 

PankhiCTSt, Christabel, 333. 

Paris Conference, 133; see League of 
Nations and Treaties. 

Paris, German objective, 150; effect 
of American Senate's attitude on, 

Parker, Alton B., 76. 

Parker, Theodore, 108. 

Pasha, Bolo, 301. 

Patton, President, of Princeton, 37, 

Peace Conference, 280, 281, 297, 
298-300; Labour and Capital at, 
307; Wilson on, 213. 

Peary, Rear-Admiral, 177. 

Pendleton, George, 61. 

Penrose, Senator, 78, 110, 323. 

Pershing, Major General John J., 
in Mexico, 166; sent to France, 

Philippines, annexation of, 75; pos- 
session of, 117, 132-33. 

Pinchon, Stephen, 283. 

Poland, 319-20, 346. 

Politics, British, 13, 17; partisan, 
825; problems of, 110; science of, 
25-26, 30; studies of, 34; Wilson 
and, 28. 

Populist party, 70, 72. 

Preceptorial system, 47-48, 50. 

Preparedness, programme of, 178- 
79; leadership of movement, 182. 

Presbyterian Church, Riders o^ 
Bryan, 97; Wilson, <6, 97; in- 
fluence of, 12-14; loinisters of, 
in Wilson and Wocjdrow families, 
3-^; slavery issue split, 9. 

Press, on blockade, 174; on Bullitt 
incident, 336; censorship of, 223; 
criticism, SSi; dispatches of 1917, 
245; Englisli, 216; French colonies, 
314; German, 201, 218; imperial- 
istic, 283^ importance of news- 
paper, 111; on Italian address, 
341; on Lloyd George, 336; opin- 
ions of, 135, 252, 261; on Peace 
Conference, 290-92,307-308, 311; 
poll of, 282; sectional influence of, 
262; support of League of Nations, 
315; Western and Southern opin- 
ions on war, 216; and Wilson, 
294, 348; See footnote references 

Prices, of commodities, 109. 

Prinkipo Conference, 312. 

Princeton University, atmosphere 
religious, 14; Catelogue of De- 
grees, 14; Dr. Witherspoon of, 12; 
great part of Wilson's life spent at, 
13; history of, 42-45; democratiz- 
ing of, 52, 60; endowment of, 45; 
McCosh president of 43; policies 
of, 50; Wilson president of, 30, 37, 
40-41, 45; to Presidency, 80-105. 

Princehmian, The, editor of, 16. 

Proctor, William C, 55, 69. 

Progressive party, 102, 128; conven- 
tion, 186-87; dilemma of, 182; 
military service, 177; obsolete, 

Propaganda, American in Germany, 
323; See German propaganda. 

Prussian ideal, 212. 

Public utilities in New Jersey, 91. 

Pyne, Moses Taylor, 49, 56, 59. 

Railways, agreed to subordinate in- 
terests, 230; Daniel Willard of, 
217, 230; government control of, 
164, 240; interests of, dominated 
Virginia, 113; lines of, 106. 



Record, George L., 84, 87. 

Red Cross, mission to Siberia, 234. 

Redfield, 125. 

Reed, Senator, 96, 258, 264. 

Reforms, great, 124-45. 

Reichstag, 201. 

Reinsch, Paul, 130. 

Republican party, champion of 
privilege, 32j compelled govern- 
ment investigations, 259; com- 
plete rupture at Chicago conven- 
tion of 1912. 101; dii^ded 78, 79; 
industrialism made secure by, 61; 
in New Jersey senate, 91, 92; op- 
position to shipping bill, 183; 
platform opposed new world- 
order, 269; positions held by, 181; 
use of war crisis, 177, 217, 219; 
victory in 1918 campaign, 275. 

Republican Progressive movement, 

Revenue, tariff for, 20. 

Rhodes, James Ford, 27. 

Robins, Raymond, 234. 

Rome, Wilson's journey to, 296. 

Roosevelt, Theodore, announced 
new party, 102; anti-German, 184; 
approved seizure of Korea, 342; 
attacked Administration, 255-57; 
"big stick" policy, 116; campaign 
of 1918, 271; campaign for Re- 
publican leaders, 257-58; on civil 
service, 181; declined nomination, 
_187; ddegates unseated in Chicago 
convention, 101; language of, 
284; -Lodge foreign programme, 
2S2; for Minister of Munitions, 
259; on neutrality, ISO; offered 
army of volunteers, 237, 254; on 
Panama,^ 129; succeeded Mc- 
Kinley, 76; tried to save country 
from radicalism, 78; on universal 
military service, 177; WUson 
benefited by movement, 103; or 
Wilson, 260-76. 

Root, Elihu, 78, 101, 163, 185, 234, 

Roumania, in war, 206, 209. 

Russell, Charles Edward, 234. 

Russia, Germany declared war on, 
149; Germany's plan, 203; prom- 
ises to, 204, 205; losses of, 206; 
Brest-Litovsk, 242; revolution in, 
233; second revolution, 236. 

Ryan, Thomas F., 76. 97, 98. 

Saar Valley, 317; coalfields of. 346. 

St. Louis, Exposition, speech at, 
84; Negro riots in East, 159. 

St. Mihiel, American victory at, 

Salonika, allied position at, 208. 

Schiedemann, PhiUp, 347. 

Scholars, opinion ojf, in regard to 
Germany, 152. 

Schurz, Carl, 154. 

Science, and humanities, 38. , 

Sears, Louis Martin, on Jefferson's 
ideals, 309. 

Secret committee system, 17, 35. 

Sectionalism, 52. 112. 144, 195, 274, 

Self-government, proposed to world, 

Senate, asked frish cause pressed, 
324; disagreement on Peace Con- 
ference, 286; fight on League of 
Nations, 363; filibuster in, 217-19; 
partisan majorities, 276; Repub- 
lican leaders defeated Peace Con- 
ference pinposes, 812. 

Serbia, 150; attack upon, 207. 

Shantung, 338, 342, 351. 

Shaw, Albert, 20. 

Shaw. Bernard, 293. 

Sherman Anti-trust Law flouted, 76. 

Sherman, Senator, of Illinois, 264; 
filibuster led by, 325. 

Siberia, commission to, 234; tempta- 
tion to Japan, 236. 

Silver, free. 70. 71, 73. 

Simon, Colonial Secretary of Prance, 

Sims, Rear-Admiral, 239. 

Single-term platform, 170 

Sinn Fein, government. 316; patty, 

SmaU,' Albion, W., 20. 



Smith, Adam, 30. 

Smith, Arthur Howden, 98. 

Smith, Goldwin, 89. 

Smith, Hoke, 18, 264. 

Smith, James, Jr., 84, 88, 89, 91, 99, 

Smith, Stanhope, 13. 

Smith, Sidney, 30. 

Smuts, General, 316. 

Socialism, 38. 

Somme, hattle o{ the, 209. 

Sonnino, Baron, 318. 

South, churches of the, 108; con- 
gressmen endeavoured to control 
patronage, 181; Democrats sup- 
ported, 112; did not endorse 
woman suffrage, 113; leaders in 
Cabinet and Congress, 189; Negro 
problem, 9, 64, 113; not a imit 
on formgn policy, 113; party lines 
in election, 193; support for East- 
em machines, 113; supported 
Wilson, 123. 

South, Old, 6, 9, 10, 11, 42; agricul- 
tural, and socially archaic,' 112; 
beliefs of the, 20; Democratic, 
64; slavery system, 68. 

South America, 129-30. 

Southern Presbyterian Church, 
organized, 9. 

Sovereignty, question of, 27. 

Spanish-American War, 75. 

Spartacans, in Germany, 310. 

State rights, 69. 

Steamship lines, 106. 

Steffens, Lincoln, 335. 

Stephens, Alexander, 11. 

Stettinius, Edward E., 262. 

Steubenville Male Acjidemy, 3. 

Stone, Senator, 96, 217. 

Strike, threatened railway, 163. 

Submarine, policy of Germans, 174, 

Sugar, producers, 159; tax on, 

Sullivan, Roger, 73, 85, 99, 110. 

Supreme Court, 35. 

Survey, The on Clemenceau, 302. 

Swan, Mrs., 54. 

Taft, William H.. 77; blaised for 
government shortage, 161; in 
campaign of 1918, 271; defeated 
Boosevelt in Chicago convention, 
101; League to Enforce Peace, 247; 
for League of Nations, 326; on 
Mexican policy, 116; not in Peace 
Conference, 28&-87; on War La- 
bour Board, 230; wool, sugar, 
meats on free list, 143. 

Tag, Der, 156. 

Taggart, Thomas, 76. 

Tampico, American sailors at, 146- 

Tanmiany Hall, 85; alliance with 
Virginia, 98; influence in filibuster 
on war measures, 217; worked for 
Clark, 99. 

Tari£F, Bryan defined, 71; campaign 
against, 70; high, 61; McKinley 
advocated lower, 119; methods of 
legislation, 106; Payne-AIdridi, 
96; protective, 17, 19; reduction 
made by Wilson, 137; reform, 31, 
32; Wilson opposed, 20, 88. 

Taussig, Professor P. W., 137. 

Taxes, 17, 20; change of national 
polity, 162; to pay for war, 228. 

Tennent, William, 42. 

Thornwell, Dr. James H., aristocrat, 
champion of slavery, I^esbyterian 
leader, 9; at Princeton, 14. 

Thurman, Allen G., 61. 

Tirpitz, General von, 215. 

Tolls Act of 1912, 117, 134. 

Trade, domestic, 299; free, 260, 
285, 309. 

Treaties, of 1913, 133-34; constitu- 
tional provision for, 196; "scraps 
of paper," 149; secret, 307-308, 
315, 334; undoing of secret, 246. 

Treaty, binding Greeks to Serbia, 
disregarded, 207; of Brest- 
Litovsk, 236; with Colombia, 196; 
Hay-Pauncefote, 134; League of 
Nations part of Peace, 317, 340, 
344; text of, given to Germans, 
346; terms of text, 346; of Versail- 
les. 348. 



Trevelyan, George Otto, Roosevelt's 

letter to, 181. 
Triple Entente, 208; promises to 

Italy. 204. 
Trotsky, 236. 
Trumbull, Lyman, 69. 
Trusts, 71; day of, 76. 
Tumulty, Joseph P., 84. 
Turkey, 203, 277. 
Turner, Frederic J., 20, 27, 28. 
Twain, Mark, 81. 

Ukraine, 236. 

Underwood, Oscar, 96, 97, 99, 124, 

Underwood-Simmons Tariff law, 

United States, banker of the world, 
298-99; 306; Caribbean policy, 
118; Chamber of Commerce, 107; 
c»mmission to Siberia, 234; con- 
ditions in 1916, 170-71; demands 
of Japan on, 244; distrust of, by 
Latin-Americans, 129; disunited 
on world affairs, 281, 283, 325; 
economic leadership, 306; enters 
war, 195-219; and European 
struggle, 160; expansion, 205; 
feared Germany 237; as fighting 
power, 215; finance in, 61, 142; 
food organization, 227; foreign 
policy, 115; holdings in Mexico, 
115; imperialistic policy of 1898, 
132; and Monroe Doctrine, 128; 
not a democracy, 220; opposed 
blockade of powers, 157; Panama 
Canal agreement, 117; Republican 
prophecy for, 352; Wilson's plans, 

Universities, influence of, 151, 177; 
in Germany, 202. 

University Magazine, 17. 

University of Virginia, 17. 

Upton, Major General Emory, 153- 

Van Dyke, Professor Henry, 57. 
Venizelos, Greek minister, 205. 
Verdun, German attack on, 209. 

Versailles, 344. 

ViUa, General, 146, 147, 166. 

Volunteer army, 237. 

WaddeU, Moses, 13. 

Wages, compared with those of 
Europe, 109. 

Walker law of 1846, 137. 

Wall Street. 68. 

Walsh, Prank, 230. 

Walsh, Governor of Massachusetts, 

War, agreement of railways, 230; 
augmented foreign trade, 158; cost 
of, 227; Department on military 
service, 177; effect on foreign 
trade, 199; embargo on sale of 
arms lifted, 146; and of, 245-46; 
end of, changed opinions, 283; 
all Europe engaged in work, 202; 
food control for, 225-26; Germany 
declared, on Russia, 149; Germany 
surprised not to win, 201; holy, 
151-52; imminent, 191; Japan, 
not sick of, 312; loans, 266; 
measures defeated by filibuster, 
217; message to Congress, 219; 
neutrality during great, 168; pre- 
paring for, 222; principles of in 
terms of peace. 329; purposes 
of all engaged asked, 212; threat- 
ened in 1915, 176; United States 
entered, 195-219; with waste, 
220; weapons of, 279; Wilson 
avoided, 176. 

War Labour Board, 209. 

Washington, The 6eorg.e, sailed, 288. 

Watterson, Colonel Henry, 86. 

Waynesville. 22. 

Wealth, distribution ol, 139; social 
and political power. 129. 

Webb Law, 198, 199, 290. 

West, Andrew, 53, 57, 58. 

West, Democratic party in, 114; 
farm workers from, drawn to 
cities, 159; Hughes in, 188-89. 

Weyl, Waiter, 335. 

White, Henry, 285. 

White, WiUiam Allen, 184, 262, 310, 
316, 320, 328, 343. 


Whitlock, Brand, 130. 

Wickersham, George W., 288. 

Willard, Daniel, 217. 

Williams, John Sharp, 324. 

Wilmington, N. C, Wilson's home 
in 1875, 13; influence of sea at, 

Wilson, Henry L., 116, 125. 

Wilson, Joseph Buggies, early life of, 
3-^5; made home with favourite 
son, 25; Presbyterian minister, 3. 

Wilson, Woodrow: 
£arly life: Augusta, home of, 6; 
bom in Virginia, 98; early life 
and boyhood influences of, 
3-16; Southerner and of Scotch 
Presbyterian family, 3-23; ideal 
leaders, 11; influence of tradi- 
tional history upon, 12; college 
life of 12; student of classics 
and mathematics, 10, 15, 37, 
38; early characteristics, 13-15. 
Professional life: studied law and 
practiced with Benick in At- 
lanta, 18; wrote "Congressional 
Government," 21; belief in 
cabinet government, 21; as- 
sociate professor of history at 
Bryn Mawr, 22-24; at Wes- 
leyan University, 25; professor 
of political science at Ptinceton, 
25; gifted critic, leader of public 
affairs, 30; Liberal, of Glad- 
stone school, 33, 34, 52; con- 
servative statesman, 37; na- 
tural leader, 38, 60; vacation 
in Bermuda, 56; on Bryan 
campaign, 71. 
Political fife: candidate for presi- 
dency, 80; announcement at 
Lotos Club, New York, 82; not 
approved by party machines, 
88; governor of New Jersey, 89; 
reform bills in New Jersey, 91; 
elected president 103-106; 
"The New Freedom" quoted, 
107; chosen to change industrial 
life. 111; message of December, 
1919, 118; views on Cabinet, 

126; task of 1913, 128; foreign 
policy, 131, 135; "Watchful 
waiting," 132; views on leader- 
ship, of president, 136; at end of 
first administration, 145; death 
of Mrs. Wilson, 148. 
Second administration: Gompers 
and Wilson, 159; asked for shiii- 
ping bill, 160; Farm Loan Act, 
160-61; railway arbitration, 
and Adamson Law, 163-64; 
policy of non-interference, 167; 
second marriage, 168-69; op- 
position of Hearst papers, 175; 
notes to Germany, 176; avoided 
war, 176; patronage, 182; at 
Shadow Lawn, 190; big busi- 
ness and labour feared, 193; 
urged corrupt practices act, 196; 
and industrial leadership, 197; 
world needed, 201; must aban- 
don neutrality, 211; speech on 
government with consent of 
governed, 213; broke with 
Germany, 215; U. S. approval, 
216; and "seven dictators," 217; 
war finance of. 229; purpose to 
convince German people, 232; 
foundation for government 
ownership, 241; "Fourteen 
points," 245; opposition to, 251; 
plot against, 260-61; asked for 
powers for war work, 264-66; 
internationalism of, 265; con- 
spicuous ability, 271; answer 
to Germany, 273; asked Demo- 
cratic Congress, 274; not ready 
for peace, 280; representative 
in Peace Conference, 281; and 
Clemenceau, 304; on colonial 
possessions, 313; British Li- 
beralism support, 315; chair- 
man to draft League of Nations 
constitution, 316; believed in 
League, 329; ill in Paris, 337; 
returned to U. S., 325; mea- 
sures filibustered in Senate, 
326; compromise, 339-40; ap- 
peal to people of Italy, 341; 



price of League, 348; disap- 
pointment, 348; and world free 
trade, 352. 

Articles and Books: AilatUic 
Monthly 27; "Constitutional 
Government of the United 
States," 34; "Division and Re- 
union," 28; The Forum 33. 
38, 39; "The New Ereedom," 
107; "George Washington," 
29; "The History of the Amer- 
ican People," 29, 81; Inter- 
national Review 16, 17; "Mere 
Literature," 28, 34; Nassau 
Literary Magazine, 16, 17; The 
New Princeton Review, 26, 30; 
"An Old Master and Other 
Essays," 34; Political Science 
Quarterly, 27, 30, 31; TAe 
Princetonian, 16; Princeton Uni- 
versity BvUelin, 46; Review of 
Reviews, 31, 126, 136; "The 
State, Elements of Historical 
and Practical Politics," 34; 
World^s Work, 101. 

Addresses and Speeches: Chicago 
Exposition, 34; St. Louis Ex- 
position, 34; Association of 
Colleges and Preparatory 
Schoob of the Middle States 
and Maryland, 48; Universary 
of North Carolina, 11; at 
Princeton, 33; 50th anniversary 
of founding of College of New 
Jersey, 39; accepting Carnegie's 
gift to Princeton, 49; in Middle 

West, 53, 54; in Chicago, 55, 
83; in Pittsburg, 57; Virginia 
Society of New York, 82; first 
inaugural, 91, 127; at Mobile, 
131; at Philadelphia, 134; at 
Annapolis, 134-35; on Monroe 
Doctrine, 198; second inaugural, 
201, 218; to Senate in 1917, 
213; message to 6Sth Congress, 
219; established censorship of 
press and free speech, 223; 
at Washington Monument, 232; 
to A. P. of L., 239; message to 
Congress in 1918, 240; addresses 
to Congress, 246, 266, 280; at 
Mount Vernon, 267; in New 
York, 326; to Italians, 341; 
Paris Political Science As- 
sociation, 348. 

Witherspoon, Dr. John, of Prince- 
ton, 12, 37, 43, 48. 

Woman su£Frage, Democratic atti- 
tude, 112; recommended, 183. 

Women, in industry, 159. 

Wood, General Leonard A., 177, 196. 

Woodrow, Dr. James, 6. 

Woodrow, Janet, 3, 4. 

Woodrow, Marion, 5. 

Woodrow, Thomas, Presbyterian 
minister and classical scholar, 4. 

Wyman, Isaac, 58. 

Yale, 41. 

Zimmermann, Secretary of German 
foreign office, 214. 

6ARDEN aTY, N. t.